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NetOne fights for market share

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NetOne has unveiled a one stop shop for communication services and a token of appreciation to subscribers, as it intensifies its push for an increased market share in the competitive, but highly lucrative sector.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

From left: NetOne board member Georgina Chingonzo, acting chief operations officer  Clever Isaya, acting chief executive officer Brian Mutandiro and acting board chairman Peter Chingoka at the launch of One-Fi and One–Cliq products at their NetOne building in Harare yesterday
From left: NetOne board member Georgina Chingonzo, acting chief operations officer Clever Isaya, acting chief executive officer Brian Mutandiro and acting board chairman Peter Chingoka at the launch of One-Fi and One–Cliq products at their NetOne building in Harare yesterday

The new products, One-Fi and One-Cliq, anchor the company’s thrust as it shifts from being a mobile operator to a communications services provider offering a wide range of products. This will complement its already existing package, OneFusion which has been a game changer in the industry.

Unveiling the new products in Harare yesterday, NetOne’s acting CEO Brian Mutandiro said they came as a result of the firm’s promise “to transform lives and sustainably meet the ever changing needs of our customers and the insatiable quest for innovative technologies”.

One-Fi is a wire to the X services in which X represents businesses, schools, churches and hotels among others and can connect up to 32 people at the same location using a NetOne sim card.

“As NetOne, we have shifted from being a mobile service provider to a communication service provider with the capability to offer voice, video, internet, mobility, iptv and a host of other applications which can now be supported via a NetOne line,” he said.

Mutandiro said the value addition innovations were in line with the government’s thrust on the provision of services that enhance e-commerce, e-health, e-agriculture and e- learning adding that NetOne’s strategies were deliberately biased towards “inclusive connectivity in Zimbabwe”.

One-Fi packages range between $9 and $99.

One-Cliq applies to closed user groups, formal and informal and is premised on the desire to enable ease of communication by offering discounted rates to community groups like business groups and church cell groups among others.

A minimum of five people are required in a group to sign up for the service where members enjoy special rates. The product, Mutandiro said, is a token of appreciation to subscribers for “their continued support and confidence”.

Mutandiro said subscribers have suffered enough for being overcharged and “we say no to that”.

Asked whether NetOne has capacity to absorb new products, Mutandiro said the company was aware that the demand for high-speed broadband connectivity would rise hence would continue monitoring the traffic for sustainable optimisation of the network.

“We are engaging the regulator for more spectrum. The regulator has approved 20 products that we will launch in 2017,” he said.

NetOne’s acting chief operating officer, Clever Isaya said the operator has capacity to absorb more subscribers. He said the network has capacity to take up to 10 million subscribers, while its subscriber base currently stands at over 5 million.

“We are in a position to take the whole of Zimbabwe on NetOne. We are taking a proactive role in terms of anticipating customer needs and provide the service.

We are positioned to unlock those products,” Isaya said.

The move came at a time the mobile operator has been expanding its footprint and was the only operator that registered a growth in active subscribers in 2016 when rivals saw a dip in active subscriber base.

Data from Potraz showed that in 2016, NetOne added 577 690 new active subscribers, while Econet and Telecel’s numbers declined by 341 787 and 114 387 respectively.

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