HARARE – Zimbabwe’s active internet subscriptions increased by 13.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 to reach 8.7 million subscriptions from 7.7 million recorded in the third quarter of 2018.
As a result, the national internet penetration rate also increased, growing by 7.5 percent to reach 62.9 percent from 55.4 percent in the third quarter.
According to the 4Q performance report for Zimbabwe’s telecommunications sector released by the industry regulator, POTRAZ, the growth was partly driven by the increase in Fibre and ADSL uptake.
“The internet penetration rate increased by 7.5% to reach 62.9% from 55.4%. Leased lines and WiMAX subscriptions have been gradually declining as the uptake of ADSL and Fibre improves,” reads part of the report.
A further breakdown of the numbers show that mobile internet and data utilisation which largely contribute to Zimbabwe’s internet usage, increased by 15.7 percent in the quarter under review as all mobile operators recorded growth in mobile internet and data usage.
This increase has now become a trend as a growing number of Zimbabweans access mobile services while trying different operators as a way of maximising service value.
“Mobile internet and data usage has been consistently increasing during the course of the year,” said POTRAZ.
The 15.7 percent increase in the last quarter ties in with the rise in subscriptions that was registered by all three mobile operators during the period.
“Active mobile subscriptions increased by 1.3% to record 12,908,992 from 12,748,551 recorded in the third quarter of 2018. The mobile penetration rate increased by 1.2% to reach 93.1% from 91.9% recorded in the third quarter of 2018,” said POTRAZ.
According to the report, NetOne, which is the second largest mobile operator in Zimbabwe, recorded the highest growth registering a 5.2 percent increase in active subscribers to a total of 3.257 million active users.
While this trails Econet’s 8.6 million active subscribers, it is still more than half of what Telecel holds with just 1.1 million active subscribers.
On an annual comparison basis, mobile internet and data consumption in 2018 grew by 77.6 percent to 27,278 telebits (TB) from 15,361 TB consumed in 2017.
As shown by POTRAZ, Econet Wireless constitute the largest market share of mobile internet and data traffic recorded at 68.5 percent in the quarter under review ahead of Netone (26.5%) and Telecel (5.0%).
-Equity Axis News