Harare. — The mobile penetration rate in Zimbabwe increased by 1,3 percent to 92,8 percent in the third quarter of last year showing a continued rise in the use of the cell phone as the most handy communication device, latest data that the industry regulator released shows.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), the number of active mobile phone users also increased by 3,7 percent from the previous quarter to reach about 12,4 million.
“The total number of active mobile subscriptions increased by 3,7 percent to reach 12 394 383 subscriptions from 11 949 791 recorded in the previous quarter. As a result the mobile penetration rate increased by 1,3 percent to reach 92,8 percent from 91,5 percent recorded in the previous quarter,” Potraz said.
The rise in the use of the cell phone as a channel for sending and receiving money appears to have spurred overall growth in mobile penetration.
Mobile money subscribers rose 7,1 percent during the quarter to 6,7 million from 6,2 million in the second quarter.
“However total deposits on mobile money platforms declined by 10,5 percent to record $458 million from $512 million recorded in the previous quarter,” Potraz said.
But while the number of mobile phone users increased, revenues generated by the three mobile phone networks dropped 0,4 percent to $182,5 million.
“The increase in national voice traffic did not translate to an increase in revenues. This is because the traffic increase was driven by net-on-net calls which were being offered at discounted promotional rates,” the regulator said.
Econet remained the major player in the mobile telecommunications sector, enjoying 53,9 percent of the market share which was however a drop from 55,5 percent the previous quarter.
Net One is the only one that saw its share grow to 30,7 percent from 28.3 percent while Telecel registered a 0,8 percentage points drop to 15,2 percent.
On the other hand, the fixed line commonly referred to as the land line saw its tele-dentisty drop 0,1 percent to 2,5 percent as the number of active subscriptions also dropped 0,2 percent to 332 211.
“Corporate subscriptions were 100 599 and individual/household subscriptions were 231 612,” Potraz said. — New Ziana.