Mobile network operators record 46% revenue jump

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  • Voice services is still the biggest contributor to the bottom line
  • Operating costs exclusive of foreign currency losses grew by 42%
  • Active mobile telephone subscriptions declined by 6.7%

Harare – Revenue generated by Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators increased by 45.8% to record ZWL3 billion during the second quarter 2020 from ZWL2.1 billion recorded in the previous quarter attributed to the increase in tariffs as well as the growth in internet and data usage.

According to a report by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), voice services is still the biggest contributor to the bottom line of mobile operators accounting for 44.6% followed by data services (31.9%).

SMS, Other, USSD, VAS and SIM Card sales contributed 12.2%, 5.3%, 3.2%, 2.6% and 0.1% to total revenue respectively.

However, in the quarter under review, the contribution of voice declined from 49.1% in the previous quarter in line with the decline in mobile voice traffic.

Meanwhile, operating costs exclusive of foreign currency losses grew by 42% whereas operating costs inclusive of foreign currency losses grew by 217.7%.

“The increase in operating expenditure is attributable to the inflationary operating environment.

“The telecommunications sector is also capital intensive and heavily reliant on debt financing, the fluctuations in the exchange rate have resulted in huge exchange losses on debts to be serviced,” POTRAZ said.

Capital expenditure by the mobile operators declined by 17.2% to record ZWL74.1 million in the second quarter of 2020 from ZWL89.5 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

Despite the increase in revenues, active mobile telephone subscriptions declined by 6.7% to reach 12,798,298 as at 30 June 2020 from 13,724,522 recorded as at 31 March 2020. Hence, the mobile penetration rate declined by 6.4% to reach 87.8% from 94.2% recorded in the previous quarter.

The decline in mobile subscriptions was experienced across operators with Econet experiencing a 8.4% decline, NetOne (-0.5%) and Telecel (-12.2%).

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