Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers NetOne grew its data market share by 6,5 percent in the last quarter of 2017, the latest Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) report shows.
According to the report, the State-owned NetOne is the only mobile telecommunications company that gained a market share of internet and data traffic.
NetOne leveraged on growing mobile data usage in the country with its OneFusion offerings that were introduced in May last year.
The One-Fusion initiative took the market by storm, offering on-net and off-net voice calls, international calls, messages, data, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
“Demand for data and internet service has been consistently increasing,” Potraz said in the report.
Observers say data will be the growth frontiers for local mobile telecommunication firms going forward, as fierce competition in the sector is eating into margins.
They note that with mobile teledensity in excess of 100 percent, while internet density is still around 50 percent, there is huge potential in the area of mobile data.
The reports shows that NetOne’s data market share growth is attributed to the 55,6 percent growth in its internet and data traffic.
“A comparison with the previous quarter shows that NetOne gained 6,5 percent market share of data usage. This is attributable to the 55,6 percent growth in NetOne’s internet and data traffic.
“On the other hand, Econet and Telecel lost 5,5 percent and 1,1 percent market share respectively,” said the telecoms sector regulator.
Going forward, the company has since indicated that this year it is targeting to increase its subscriber base by 5 percent.
Potraz said the demand for data and internet services has been consistently increasing as 5 230 112 428 MB’s of mobile internet and data traffic were consumed in total in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“A total of 5 230 112 428MB (5 230 112GB) of mobile internet and data traffic were consumed in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“This represents a 20,8 percent growth from 4 329, 987, 887MB (4 329 988GB) recorded in the third quarter of 2017.”
Potraz noted that the growth in the usage of mobile internet and data saw the country’s telecoms sector’s total revenues for 2017 jump 12 percent.
The statistics show that mobile telecommunication services providers continued to account for most of the revenue earnings, which increased from $723 million in 2016 to $850 million last year.
Potraz director general Dr Gift Machengete lauded the upturn in the sector’s revenues.
“2017 marks the first year in four years to record an increase in mobile revenues. The revenues have been going down for four years because of the decline in voice calls but as we get used to over the top applications revenue is starting to go up,” he said at the release of the report.
In terms of investment, the telecommunications sector posted a 23 percent decline to $198, 4 million last year as players cut down on capital expenditure.