Fixed voice calls continue to decline

By Owen Mandovha

COMPETITION in the telecommunications industry continues to shift local companies’ market share, with the state-owned operator, NetOne recording significant gains.

Netone is gradually making inroads in the Econet dominated market share according to the 2021 4th quarter telecommunications performance report released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ).

The report indicates that NetOne increased its market share in the last three months from 30.7 per cent to 31.2 per cent, while Econet saw its share dwindling marginally from 65.1 per cent to 64.7 per cent.

The game-changer for NetOne was the competitive pricing and aggressive marketing of its services at a time when most consumers have raised concerns over the high data tariffs in the country.

Zimbabwe’s 3rd largest mobile operator, Telecel’s network challenges emanating from subdued capital investment did not do it any good as its market share declined by 0.7 per cent to 3.7 per cent in the last quarter.

The report also shows that state-owned fixed telecoms operator, TelOne needs to be dynamic in service provision as fixed voices call minutes continue to go down, after recording a 5.1 per cent decline last year.

Summing up the telecommunications sector report, POTRAZ Director-General, Dr Gift Machengete is convinced that innovation is the way to go for operators to remain viable in the aftermath of successive COVID 19 lockdowns over the last two years.

“It is very important to note that by default there has been some unprecedented innovation and use of telecommunications service during the two years and that has been necessitated by the fact that people have been reliant on the telecommunications industry for their day to day lives under lockdown and local players should take note that that has set precedence for future growth of the sector,” he said.

Dr Machengete said POTRAZ will strive to put in place an affordable tariffs framework that guarantees the viability of the industry.