MOBILE telecommunications revenue increased by 21,1% to $224,8 million in the third quarter of the year, which has been attributable to the growth of internet and data usage.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The growth of internet and data usage was shown by increasing mobile penetration rate that rose 3,5% to reach 100,5% from 97% recorded in the previous quarter following a 3,7% increase in subscriptions.
In its third quarter report released yesterday, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said the increase was from $185,6 million realised in the second quarter of the year.
“The increase in overall operator revenue is attributable to the growth in internet and data usage as well as mobile money services,” Potraz said.
The regulatory body said the aggregate average revenue per user per month increased by 10,8% to $4,41 from $3,98 recorded in the previous quarter.
Potraz said operating costs declined by 6,3% to record $123,2 million from $131,5 million recorded in the previous quarter due to efforts by the mobile operators to cut down operating expenditure.
Potraz said the decline in costs translated to an aggregate average cost per user per month declining by 9,3% to record $2,72 from $3 recorded in the previous quarter.
During the third quarter, the active internet penetration rate increased to 49,5% from 48,6% recorded in the previous quarter following a 1,9% increase in active subscriptions with more subscribers using mobile phones for internet banking.
Of all the mobile companies, Econet Zimbabwe’s market share in mobile revenue increased 81,6% in the quarter under review from 77,9% recorded in the previous quarter.
NetOne and Telecel’s market shares declined by 1,9 and 1,8% percentage points respectively.
Potraz said the contribution of voice to revenue declined by 4,9% to record 48,6% from 53,5% recorded in the previous quarter despite the increase in voice traffic.
“This implies that the bulk of traffic was promotional. Internet and data increased contribution to total revenue by 0,3%.
Mobile money services registered the highest increase (4,9%) in contribution to total revenue to record 18% from the 13,1% contribution recorded in the previous quarter. This is attributable to the increase in mobile money transactions given the current cash shortages,” Potraz said.
Despite the growth, Potraz said investment by mobile operators declined by 37,2% to $31 690 543 from $50 489 313 recorded in the previous quarter.