Econet takes the strain as data, voice usage skyrockets in Q1 2022

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  • Data and voice traffic volumes up 77% and 25% respectively
  • Debenture holders to redeem US$14.8 million
  • More network investment needed to meet increased customer demand

Harare- Listed telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited witnessed an increase in both data and voice traffic volumes in the first quarter ended 31 May 2021, putting a lot of strain on their network.

Data and voice traffic volumes for the quarter went up by 77% and 25% respectively from the comparable same period last year.

In a trading update, group company secretary, Charles Banda said although Econet was able to accommodate the capacity growth, it strained its network and more network investment is needed for them to meet the increasing customer needs.

“To date, investment in network infrastructure  has  positioned  us  to  be  the  digital  connectivity  partner  of  choice  for  remote  business  operations,  humanitarian  and social connections. However, more investment in necessary to allow us to meet the increasing needs of our customers,” Banda added.

“We remain as committed as ever to provide faster speeds and wider coverage in line with the POTRAZ Covid-19 relief programme through deployment of additional LTE sites as well as accessing additional 3G spectrum.”

The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic environment has necessitated digitalisation, hence the growth in data and voice usage.

During the quarter under review, Econet managed to facilitate educational, social, economic, and other opportunities to customers despite the lack of adequate investment due to challenges in accessing foreign currency.

 The group said their aim is to ensure that pricing remains sustainable to customers taking into account the realities of the prevailing economic environment while also balancing the sustainability of the business.

“We continue to work closely with the regulator to periodically review the sector specific cost models. Our goal is to ensure that our pricing remains relevant and appropriate for the consumer  whilst  allowing  the  company  to  generate  sufficient  resources  for  continued  investment,” Banda said.

“In order to ensure that we remain cost relevant to our customers, we employ big data analytics to customise our consumer packages and launch targeted campaigns to drive usage and sustain the active customer base,” he added.

On 13 July 2021 the group made an offer to debenture holders for the early redemption of debentures issued in March 2017 that are due to expire in April 2023. Debenture holders opted to redeem US$14.8 million, representing about 22% of the accrued value of the debentures as of 31 August 2021.

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