Zimbabwe - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses


Zimbabwe’s economy has seen a downturn since the fractious elections of July 2013, resulting in a significant fall in GDP growth. The contribution to GDP from the telecom sector has fallen steadily as a result. Sector revenue has come under pressure from a number of recent regulatory measures and taxes imposed by the cash-strapped government. Nevertheless, the telecom sector shows some promise, particularly from the mobile sector where mobile penetration has increased rapidly, reaching 116% by early 2018. The three mobile network operators Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe continue to invest in network upgrades to support data services and their fast-expanding m-commerce and m-banking facilities. Telecel was recently acquired by the government from VEON, and the financial demands required for investment has jeopardised resources potentially available to the incumbent telco TelOne, (formerly PTC), which still holds a de-facto monopoly on fixed-line services in the country.

Limitations in international bandwidth for the landlocked country for many years held back development of the internet and broadband sectors, but this has changed since fibre optic links to several submarine cables have been established via neighbouring territories. The expansion of 3G mobile broadband services across the country, and the more recent efforts to provide LTE services, have meant that more than half of the population now has access to the internet. The first commercial LTE services were launched in 2013, while investment in LTE technologies, for which the regulator has assigned spectrum in the 700MHz band, continues. In addition, in mid-2018 the government considered issuing technology-neutral licences in a bid to encourage investment in the telecom sector.

Key developments:

  • Telecoms regulator and broadcasting authority set to merge;
  • Draft legislation issued to repeal Post and Telecommunications Act;
  • Regulator proposes to create a new Virtual Network Operator (VNO) license category;
  • Telcos agree to the government's infrastructure sharing policy;
  • VEON sells debt-laden unit Telecel to state-owned ISP Zarnet for $40 million;
  • Renegotiated USF contribution hampering the regulator's ability to resource $62 million in mobile and broadband projects;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2017, telcos' operating and financial data to February 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

TelOne, NetOne, Econet, Telecel, TeleAccess, Afritell, Liquid Telecom, DataOne, Powertel Communications, Telco Internet, Broadlands Networks, Aquiva, Africa Online, ComOne, Ecoweb, iWay Africa (MWEB), Zimbabwe Online (ZOL), Zimbabwe Internet Service Provider Association (ZISPA), Telecontract, Dandemutande (uMax), Aptics.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

  • Telecommunications market

    • Historical overview
    • Market analysis
  • Regulatory environment

    • Sector Reform Policy 1996
    • Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • SNO licence
      • Privatisation
    • Regulatory authority
    • Licence fees
    • Tariffs
    • ICT Strategy 2010
    • ICT Strategy 2015
    • National Policy for ICT Act 2016
    • International gateways, interconnection
    • Value-added tax (VAT)
    • Universal Service Fund (USF)
    • Subscriber registration
    • Infrastructure sharing
    • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    • Converged Licensing Framework (CLF)
  • Fixed network operators

    • TelOne
      • Fixed-line infrastructure
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • National fibre backbone
    • TeleAccess Zimbabwe
    • Afritell
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • Smart grid infrastructure
    • International infrastructure
      • TelOne
      • Liquid Telecom (Econet)
      • Other carriers
      • Data centres
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Zimbabwe – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – TelOne financial data – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 3 – TelOne revenue by type financial data – 2014 – 2015
  • Table 4 – National backbone fibre length – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 5 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 7 – Fixed-line telephony revenue – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line voice traffic – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 9 – International bandwidth – 2000 – 2017
  • Table 10 – International bandwidth by operator –2015 – 2016
  • Table 11 – International bandwidth by operator –2015 – 2017

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe – 2005 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Zimbabwe

Related Reports

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Companies (Major Players)
Regulations & Government Policies
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 55

Status Current

Last updated 11 Dec 2018
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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