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Internet of Things To Drive Zim Economy Forward: POTRAZ

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has stated that industrial growth in the country continues to be driven by internet and data.

The recent sector performance report released by the regulator predicted that usage traffic for Internet and data services is expected to continue rising in the coming years.

Other researches have also reinforced the viewpoint that world economies will be completely driven by smart data by year 2025. Cisco and Sony Ericsson, the globe’s leading network technology vendors have predicted that the world is expecting 20 billion devices on the Internet by 2020.

Potraz says Zimbabwe’s internet growth will be largely spurred by innovation related to non- traditional business models. Growth in the use of Internet of Things (IOTs) applications will take center stage, driven by consumer appetite for digital solutions that are convenient and affordable.

Such solutions will revolve around mobile payments such as payment of utility bills, parking fees and the increased use of plastic money as well as mobile banking. Other government driven initiatives such as e-government, tele-medicine and e-learning as well as the roll out of Community Information Centres through the Universal Service fund, will also help boost demand and usage of data and internet services.

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The rapid deployment of Next Generation Networks (NGN) such as 4G/LTE and Fibre to the Home (FTTH) will also improve service accessibility and availability. Hence the three prime drivers of internet use, i.e. availability, affordability and scalability, also need to be supported coupled with the development of relevant content and applications so as to catalyse the uptake and usage of internet.

Penetration rates for all subscription-based services are expected to grow marginally. The mobile penetration rate has surpassed the 100% mark; there are now more mobile lines than there are people. The Internet penetration rate has surpassed the 50% mark and is expected to continue growing on the back of 3G and 4G as well as fixed Internet technologies such as Fibre and ADSL. The fixed teledensity has remained stagnant at 1.9%; marginal growth in the fixed telephone subscriber base is expected.

The year 2017 witnessed growth in telecommunications revenues, largely driven by the mobile telephone market. Revenues have been spurred by data as well as mobile money. Mobile money services have emerged to be a key revenue contributor in the current economic environment. The introduction of bank to wallet transfers has spurred the use of mobile money for transactional purposes in the midst of cash shortages. This trend of growing mobile money use is expected to continue in the current environment.

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However, the postal and courier sector continues to record depressed service volumes and revenues. The impact of e-substitution on the postal and courier business is expected to continue as the data revolution gathers momentum. E-commerce needs to be supported, as it is a key driver of international courier volumes and revenues.

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Shingie Lev Muringi is a Technology Analyst & Digital Media Strategist by profession. He is a qualified Cisco Certified Network Engineer & a BTech. E-Commerce alumni with the Harare Institute of Technology. Shingie is a very passionate technology enthusiast who is driven by a burning desire to be a leading strategist in this digital revolution era where every organization needs to impress the paradigm shift with urgency. He has previously worked for TN Holdings, Steward Bank, Econet Wireless - Ecocash and TechnoMag before joining 263Chat as a Journalist

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