Econet Smart Data drive to spur revenue
By Respect Gwenzi, Nov 25, 2016
HARARE-Econet launched a data campaign, Smart Data on Wednesday to promote internet use and enhance customers’ experience. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Smart Data. Econet Wireless CE Douglas Mboweni said broadband development was part of their future plans. Earlier in June Econet said data is a critical driver in achieving revenue diversification as well as buttressing revenues in the mid to long term. The company was bullish on a rebound in data revenue growth rate to a double digit figure after recording a growth slowdown in the preceding financial year. “Broadband has become a very significant area for the business. But our objective at all times has been around the customer, so we constantly watch what the customers’ needs are and we re-arrange ourselves so that those needs are satisfied,” he said, adding the company had invested a lot into the network. Econet’s data business has recorded a tremendous growth pattern over the past 5 years. Between 2013 and 2016 broadband revenue grew from $42 million to $110 million. In the first half of the current financial year Econet recorded a 10.5% growth in broadband revenue to $58 million which is an equivalent of 19% of total revenue. From an industry perspective Econet accounts for 80% of the mobile internet market share although there is pressure from fixed internet providers whose packages are relatively low priced. Mboweni further stressed his point “Secondly, it is devices, because what good is it to have a network when you do not have the devices for live usage. Going into the future, it is an area that we are going to strengthen to make sure that our partnerships with our providers of services or devices becomes stronger. However, to bridge that gap between those two, you need applications. Applications are critical in the sense that they begin to then drive usage.” The CE said the key components were network capacity, devices and applications. Smart Data integrates all of Econet’s applications into one system that can be easily accessed to those with applications compatible with devices. The Smart Data campaign is a culmination of Econet’s recent conclusion of the network modernisation project, which resulted in the telecommunication firm deploying over 400 new LTE sites and upgrading over 250 sites. Econet said the development was in line with its vision to connect customers, who remained the backbone to the company’s success. Commenting on investment into their broadband development, Mboweni said he was unable to give specific figures, but wanted people to understand the principle. “We invest in network capacity, devices and relationships then put in place applications to drive usage,” he said. Econet has been aggressively pushing to generate more revenue from other services in the wake of a reduction in voice revenue. Data plays a significant role in the quad play which seeks to diversify revenue leveraging on the advancement in technology.
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