Statistics received from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) revealed that Zimbabwe consumed a total 8 million gigabytes of mobile data in 2016 representing a 120 percent increase from the 2015 figures of 3.6 million.
Long gone are the days when we used to rely on letters as a way of passing information using postal services which used to take days to deliver messages. The mobile telecommunications service revolution began in 1998 when Zimbabwe saw the birth of mobile network operators, Econet Wireless, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne being the first to be licensed in 1996.
Mobile data consumption has been on the increase in Zimbabwe as more and more people continue to adopt the use of smartphones for digital communication purposes. Zimbabwe registered a 119.8% increase in mobile Internet & Data usage from 3.6 million gigabytes consumed in 2015 to 8 million gigabytes in 2016.
Despite facing an economic meltdown, Zimbabwe is on the right path to achieve the millennium goal of total Internet service provision across all societies by 2020. Digital literacy is now a must skill in this Internet Age where business and social life now revolves around technology.
With reference to the recently released 2016 sector performance report by POTRAZ, Econet leads the total market share of data usage by 71% followed by NetOne whose data sales staged at 21.3%. A comparison with the previous quarter shows that Econet lost market share by 9.3% whereas NetOne and Telecel gained market share by 9.2% and 0.1% respectively.
However, the rise of mobile data consumption has come at the detriment of mobile network operators losing income through traditional revenue streams such as voice calls and SMS traffic. Refreshingly, for the sustenance of the industry, the local operators have managed to sell data to cover the falling gaps between their revenue sources.
NetOne has bridged that gap by introducing OneFusion, a hot selling package which has been received by subscribers with warm hands. Econet on the other hand continue to be the perennial trailblazers with their Smart Data racking in millions due to their huge subscriber base.