Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate has decreased by 18.1% to reach 84.6% in the first quarter of 2018 according to the latest Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) statistics released yesterday.
The fall in mobile penetration rate has been directly influenced by a 16.8% decrease in active mobile subscriptions causing the penetration rate to fall from 102.7% recorded in the last quarter of 2017 down to 84.6% in the first quarter of 2018.
Mobile penetration rate refers to the number of mobile telephone connections registered for a service divided by the population. In reference to Zimbabwe, our mobile penetration rate is determined by the number of users who registered their SIM Cards on the Econet, NetOne and Telecel networks.
The other notable highlight from Potraz’s sector performance report was the decline of mobile voice traffic by 1% to record 1.10 billion minutes in the first quarter of 2018 from 1.12 billion minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017.
On a positive note, Zimbabwe’s international incoming voice traffic increased by 2.4% from 39.7 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 40.6 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018.
This can be accredited to positive responses by the global community to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economy resuscitation strategy “Zimbabwe Is Open for Business” which has ignited investor interests.
In correspondence to that, Zimbabwe’s international outgoing voice traffic registered a 6% growth from 19.5 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 20.8 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018. This is further accredited to massive engagement by the local business players in their bid to lure foreign direct investment through connecting with global conglomerates.
Potraz also recorded that inbound roaming traffic increased by 10% from 1.6 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 1.8 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018. Director General – Dr. Gift Machengete said this can be complimented by the increasing number of international visitors thronging Zimbabwe for various puposes suc as tourism, exploring business opportunities and also observers in the upcoming elections.
In return, Zimbabwe’s outbound roaming traffic decreased by 8% to record 741,482 minutes in the first quarter of 2018, from 803,117 minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017. This can simply be explained by the number of Zimbabweans who have embraced the use of Over The Top (OTT) services like Whatsapp Calling and Skype when making international calls.