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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • July 2017
  • 75 pages
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
Report ID: 3249293


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Proposed tariff measures add pressure to Zimbabwe’s mobile market
Revenue from Zimbabwe’s telecom sector has come under pressure from a number of recent regulatory measures and taxes imposed by the cash-strapped government. Nevertheless, the sector shows some promise for coming years, particularly from the mobile sector where mobile penetration has increased rapidly, reaching 110% by early 2017. The three mobile network operators Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe continue to invest in network upgrades to support data services and their expanding m-commerce and m-banking facilities. Telecel was recently acquired by the government from VEON, while the financial demands required for investment has jeopardised resources potentially available to the state-owned telco TelOne, which still holds a de-facto monopoly on fixed-line services in the country.

Limitations in international bandwidth for the landlocked country for many years held back development of the internet and broadband sectors, but this has changed since fibre optic links to several submarine cables have been established via neighbouring territories. The expansion of 3G mobile broadband services across the country, and the more recent efforts to provide LTE services, have meant that more than half of the population now has access to the internet.

The mobile market has been hampered by the poor economic climate, exacerbated by regulatory measures affecting tariffs and taxes. The regulator recently proposed floor and ceiling rates for voice and data bundles, ostensibly to help reduce the cost of services for customers. These measures will place further pressure on network operator revenue, which has fallen steadily during the last three years, with a 2.9% fall in 2016 alone.

Considerable progress is being made in rolling out national fibre backbone networks in Zimbabwe, facilitated by the government’s efforts to encourage network infrastructure sharing.

Key developments:

Telecom regulator proposes to create a new Virtual Network Operator (VNO) license category;
TelOne planning to deliver FttP to 100,000 premises by 2018, opens two data centres as it shifts focus on being a converged services provider;
Telecel Zimbabwe launches Telecash mobile money service;
Government proposes consolidation of its telecom assets and business units;
Government approves $250 investment to build 600 mobile towers to serve rural areas;
Regulator proposes ceiling price for voice and data services;
Econet Wireless launches Wi-Fi in commuter minibuses;
Universal Service Fund to be used for digital migration program to progress;
TelOne planning to deliver FttP to 100,000 premises by 2018;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2016, telcos’ operating and financial data to February 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

TelOne, NetOne, Econet Wireless, Telecel, TeleAccess, Afritell, DataOne, Powertel Communications, Telco Internet, Broadlands Networks, Aquiva, Africa Online, ComOne, Ecoweb, iWay Africa (MWEB), Zimbabwe Online (ZOL), Zimbabwe Internet Service Provider Association (ZISPA), Telecontract, Dandemutande (uMax), Aptics, Liquid Telecom.

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