The latest sector performance report released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) shows a massive 89.8% increase on the country’s mobile internet and data usage in the last quarter of 2017.
Zimbabwe in 2017 alone consumed 15,3 Tera-Bytes of data against the 8Tera-Bytes used in 2016. The increase in data consumption also led to an overall increase in the total postal & telecommunications from $1.02billion realized in 2016 to $1.15billion netted in 2017.
Mobile Network Operators were the biggest winners in the data consumption which saw their revenues frog-jumping from $723million to $849million. This was further fueled by the Zimbabwe’s continuous increase in mobile penetration rate which rose by 2.2% to reach 102.7% from 100.5% recorded in the previous quarter following a 2.1% increase in subscriptions.
This further saw an active Internet penetration rate increasing by 1.3% to reach 50.8% from 49.5% recorded in the previous quarter following a 2.6% increase in active subscriptions. Mobile Internet data usage increased by 21% to record 5.2 million Gigabytes from 4.3 million Gigabytes recorded in the previous quarter.
Demand for data and Internet services has been consistently increasing. This was caused by the increasing numbers of people using social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram which come in bundle packages from MNOs. The growth in mobile Internet and data traffic over the course of 2017 is shown in Figure 7 below:
This significant data consumption increase saw the total revenue generated by the mobile operators increasing by 15.6% to record $259,711,601 from $224,759,544 recorded in the previous quarter. On the other hand, total operating costs increased by 10.9% to record $136,688,427 from $123,226,192 recorded in the previous quarter. Total mobile investment declined by 74.1% to record $8.2 million from $31.7 million recorded in the previous quarter.