NetOne market share drops as Econet dominates telecom sector


HARARE-NetOne’s market share has slumped by 1,14% from 28,39% in the 4th quarter of 2023 to 27,25% in the first quarter of 2024 under review, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has said.

POTRAZ added that Econet continues to dominate the active subscriber market share, increasing from 60.73% in the previous quarter to 70.80% in the quarter under review.

While Telecel experienced a slight gain in market share, rising from 1.88% in the fourth quarter of 2023 to 1.94%, reflecting a 0.06% upwards trend.

In terms of mobile voice traffic share, NetOne contracted by 6.66%, from 18.80% recorded in the corresponding quarter to 11.84% registered in the first quarter of 2024.

Additionally, Telecel’s market share for mobile voice traffic continued on a downward trend, contracting by 0.47% from 0.60% to 0.13% recorded in the quarter under review.

The “losses in market share recorded by NetOne and Telecel went to Econet”, which gained 7.13% to reach 88.03% in the quarter under review, up from 80.90% registered in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

However, in the area of mobile internet and data traffic, NetOne recorded the biggest jump of 93.99% growth, followed by Telecel at 24.77% and Econet at 11.78%.

POTRAZ director general Dr. Gift Machengete attributed this growth in data traffic to the ongoing trend of users shifting from “voice-centric services to data-centric services, coupled with increased expansion of digital services, remote working, online learning, growing internet connectivity, and streaming services”.

Despite the rise in NetOne’s market share of mobile data and internet traffic by 8.80%, Econet remained in pole position, commanding more than 70% of the market share, while Telecel’s market share remained stagnant below 1%.

The report also revealed a decline in international outgoing and international incoming traffic by 19.94% and 13.26%, respectively.

This was attributed to the continuous popularity of Over-the-Top (OTT) messaging, voice, and video applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime, which provide more affordable alternatives to traditional international calling routes.

However, the growth in traffic was recorded for the mobile-to-mobile category, which increased by 13.44%, and incoming traffic from fixed operators, which increased by 4.21%.

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