Econet’s Data traffic spikes on COVID 19 induced telecommunication

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  • Data traffic volumes increased by 89.5% in Q32020
  • Increased e-commerce in the local economy boosting SMS volumes
  • Intensified January lockdown expected to have a positive bearing on broadband and digital services

Zimbabwe’s biggest telecommunications company Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited says the COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdowns enacted by the government to curb its spread and detrimental effects has helped them discover and exploit a plethora of opportunities brought forth by digitalization.

“This pandemic has helped us to understand the opportunities presented by digitalisation. While managing the risks, we are also alive to the opportunities presented by COVID-19, particularly the accelerated need for digitalisation across all business sectors,” said the company secretary in a trading update for the third quarter ended 30 November 2020.

As a result of the pandemic, a lot of business have been forced to decentralize working spaces and encourage employees to work from home as per the recommendations of the local ministry of health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

This has amplified the need for digitalization and access to the internet for businesses as well as other sectors such as education and governance resulting in online applications like Zoom and Google Classroom becoming the new board and classrooms necessary for the ensuring progress for people and companies amidst the pandemic.

Econet wireless being at the forefront of providing broadband services, with an operator market share of 60,8% of all mobile data traffic in Zimbabwe has managed to take advantage of this development resulting in an 89.5 % growth in data traffic volumes in Q32020 compared to the same operational period in 2019.

“Our past investment in resilient network infrastructure has positioned us to be the digital connectivity partner of choice. We continue to enable our customers to work and learn from home whilst observing social distancing etiquette. This is reflected in the data traffic volumes which have increased by 89.5% from the previous year,” commented the company secretary.

In the same reporting period, SMS volumes increased by 32.1% against the comparative period in the prior year which the company accredits to the rise in the usage of e-commerce in the country.

“The growth we have experienced in SMS volumes reflects the increased adoption and usage of e-commerce platforms which drives customer SMS interactions.”

Voice traffic volumes however declined slightly in the period under review owing to an adjustment in tariffs by POTRAZ in order to keep up with inflation.

“Voice traffic volumes declined slightly following the headline tariff adjustments in July 2020 and August 2020, they have since started to recover. This price correction for telecommunications services was necessary as price adjustments were lagging behind inflation, in the previous periods,” explained Mr Banda.

It is safe to assume that they will be a significant improvement across all operating segments come end of the company’s fourth quarter and financial year in February 2021 as a result of the government intensifying lockdown measures from the 5th of January 2021 for an effective one month in order to contain COVID 19 in the country whose positive cases are reported to be on a rapid increase forcing business to once again decentralize.

Equity Axis News.

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