MOBILE communication operators in Zimbabwe recorded combined revenues of $199,2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 up from $194,5 million in the previous quarter, a report has revealed.
The country has three mobile phone operators – Econet, NetOne and Telecel.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Zimbabwe (Potraz) indicated in its report that the fourth quarter of 2016 was characterised by marginal subscriber growth across the board with active internet subscriptions also declining by 0.2 percent.
It said this was a sign of general stagnation in subscriptions growth, which could be an indication of market saturation.
“Total mobile revenues increased by 2,4 percent to record $199,2 million from $194,5 million recorded in the previous quarter.
“However, Econet was the only operator to register an increase in revenues. Total mobile revenues experienced an upturn in the third and fourth quarter of 2016. The average revenue per user increased by 0,2 percent to record $4,50 from $4,49 recorded in the previous quarter,” it said.
The regulatory authority said revenues generated by Internet Access Providers during the period under review increased by 3,8 percent to $40,9 million from $39,4 in the previous quarter.
IAP increased by 53,4 percent to $10,8 million from $7 million.
Potraz, however, said the total number of active internet subscriptions declined by 0.2 percent to reach 6,72 million from 6,73 million recorded as at September 30, 2016.
Giving an overall performance of the telecommunications sector during the period under review, the regulatory authority said:
“The fourth quarter of 2016 was characterised by marginal subscriber growth across the board with active Internet subscriptions also declining by 0,2 percent. This is a sign of general stagnation in subscriptions growth which could be an indication of market saturation. Fixed line subscriptions registered the biggest decline of 8,7 percent. This can largely be attributed to alternatives such as mobile, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other alternative calling procedures such as WhatsApp calling.”
Potraz said in terms of usage traffic, the quarter under review registered a general decline in traffic across the board except for data and internet usage traffic, which registered a growth of 19 percent.
“National voice usage traffic declined by 15 percent. TelOne international incoming traffic registered a 20 percent decline. The general decline in national traffic and international incoming traffic is expected to continue,” it said.