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Econet consolidates market leadership position

08 January 2020

Daily News

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe consolidated its position as the country's leading mobile network operator (MNO) as it was the only operator to record growth in voice calls, while both of its market competitors, Telecel and NetOne, recorded a decline in voice traffic.

According to the latest quarterly report by sector regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) there was an overall 8% growth in national mobile voice traffic to 1.4 billion minutes from 1.3 billion for the third quarter to September 2019.

The statistics by Potraz show that the growth, in approximately 100 million minutes, was enjoyed by Econet. "Econet`s market share has been continuously increasing over the year, starting with a market share of 78.8% in the first quarter, recording 80.1% in the second quarter and 82.3% in the third quarter," reads the Potraz report. 

"On the other hand NetOne and Telecel`s market shares have been consistently declining," from 16.3% to 15.4% for NetOne, and from 3.6% to 2.3% for Telecel. 

Econet's increased voice call usage also means the company, which has the biggest number of active subscribers –  above 8,7 million –  enjoyed the bulk of the revenue that was generated through mobile phone calls.  

Experts say usage is a fundamental key performance indicator in telecoms, reflecting the true performance of a business – as opposed to tariff, which is regulated and may depend on many other factors. Despite its size and serving a mass market, Econet continued to record growth in usage, benefitting largely from its large network coverage and investment in latest technology for efficient operations.

Interestingly, the growth in Econet's voice traffic comes at a time most businesses in the country are recording volumes decline and at a time the traditional voice call is facing stiff competition from Over The Top (OTT) communication channels such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Sasai, Skype and many others.  This, analysts say, points to the resilience and bankability of Econet's business model, and bodes well for the long term future of the business.