Econet Wireless Expands Subscriber Market Share to 70%

Econet Wireless Expands Subscriber Market Share to 70%
23 April 2023

Econet Wireless Expands Subscriber Market Share to 70%

LEADING telecoms giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, increased its subscriber market to 69.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the latest industry figures.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) Sector Performance Report for the 4th Quarter of 2022, which was released last week, says Econet grew its customer base by 2.9 percent to 69.9 percent after it increased its active subscriber base by 234 485 new subscribers to 9 988 105, up from 9 753 620 recorded in the third quarter of 2022.

The report said Econet’s growth was at the expense of NetOne and Telecel, which both saw a 2.4 percent and 0.5 percent dip in active customers, to end the quarter at 27.4 percent and 2.7 percent subscriber market share respectively. NetOne’s subscriber base slipped to 3 922 734 from 4 339 133, while Telecel lost 79 538 subscribers to close the year at 389 951.

“Telecel and NetOne’s active subscriptions declined by 16.9 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, which outweighed subscriber growth recorded by Econet and resulted in total mobile subscriptions decline by a margin of 1.8 percent,” read part of the report.

Potraz noted that all three mobile operators experienced subscriber fluctuations during the course of 2022.

“However, only Econet surpassed their December 2021 active subscriber base, further cementing their lead position,” said the regulator.

An increase in active subscribers resulted in Econet gaining voice traffic market share by a significant margin of 9.2 percent to 84.4 percent. This was after overall mobile voice traffic totalled three (3) billion minutes in the fourth quarter, representing a 2.5 percent decline from 3.08 billion minutes recorded in the third quarter of the year.

Potraz said the decline in overall mobile voice traffic emanated, mainly, from the decline in net-on-net traffic, and mobile interconnect traffic, as they are major volume contributors.

Meanwhile, a total of 33,576.4 Terabytes of mobile internet and data were consumed in the fourth quarter of 2022. This represents a 3.4 percent increase in Internet and data traffic from 32,473.1 terabytes consumed during the third quarter of the year.

The report noted that overall internet and data traffic has been consistently growing over the course of the year, in spite of depressed demand across other markets. Internet and data have also been relatively price inelastic; illustrating its growing importance as a basic commodity.

“Econet continued to dominate the market share for internet and data traffic (74.5 percent), owing to their huge active mobile subscriber base as well as their wide network coverage. However, in the quarter under review, Econet lost market share by a margin of 2.1 percent. Conversely, NetOne gained market share by 2.1 percent whilst Telecel maintained their position,” said Potraz.