Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Zimbabwe’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- May 2019 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

Zimbabwe government planning merger of TelOne and NetOne pre-sale

Revenue from Zimbabwe’s telecom sector has come under pressure from a number of recent regulatory measures and taxes imposed by the cash-strapped government. Nevertheless, the sector shows some promise for coming years, particularly from the mobile segment where active mobile penetration has increased rapidly, reaching 93% by early 2019. 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.

The government in April 2019 outlined its plans to merge TelOne and NetOne and sell off a majority stake in the operator as part of a wider plan to offset state debt.

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 were established via neighbouring territories. The expansion of 3G and LTE-based mobile broadband services have meant that more than half of the population now has access to the internet. Investment in fixed broadband infrastructure has also resulted in a slow but steady growth in the number of DSL connections, as also in fibre subscriptions.

Key developments:

  • Telcos agree to the government's infrastructure sharing policy;
  • TelOne providing satellite broadband with Avanti Communications;
  • Government enforces m-money interoperability on MNOs, changes m-money tax basis;
  • NetOne refreshes m-money service;
  • Regulator confirms no room for a fourth mobile licensee;
  • Regulator drafts framework on MVNO licences;
  • Government begins $250 million investment to build 500 mobile towers to serve rural areas;
  • Econet expands m-commerce;
  • Government considers merging TelOne with NetOne and selling a majority stake in the two;
  • Draft legislation issued to repeal Post and Telecommunications Act;
  • Regulator proposes to create a new Virtual Network Operator (VNO) license category;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2018, telcos' operating and financial data to August 2018, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Henry Lancaster
May 2019

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market

    • Historical overview
    • Market analysis
    • Regional Africa Market Comparison
      • TMI vs GDP
      • Mobile and mobile broadband
      • Fixed and mobile broadband
  • Regulatory environment

    • Sector Reform Policy 1996
    • Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000
    • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • SNO licence
      • Privatisation
    • Regulatory authority
    • Licence fees
    • 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
    • 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
      • Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
      • Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX)
      • National Broadband Project
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
      • ISP market
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • WiMAX
      • Wi-Fi
      • Satellite broadband
  • Digital economy

    • E-commerce
    • E-learning
    • E-health
  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • Satellite mobile
    • Mobile data
    • Mobile broadband
    • Regulatory issues
      • SIM card registration
      • Fourth mobile licence
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Network sharing
      • Spectrum auction
      • Spectrum Allocation Plan
    • Major mobile operators
      • Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)
      • NetOne
      • Telecel Zimbabwe
      • Mobile Virtual Network operators (MVNOs)
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Money transfer, m-banking
      • M-commerce

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Zimbabwe – 2018
  • Table 2 – TelOne financial data – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 3 – TelOne revenue by type – 2014 – 2017
  • 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 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line voice traffic – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 9 – International bandwidth – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 10 – International bandwidth by operator –2015 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Internet access revenue and investment – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 13 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 14 – DSL broadband subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Ecoweb broadband subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 16 – Ecoweb broadband revenue – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 17 – Fibre internet subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 18 – WiMAX internet subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Satellite internet subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Mobile voice traffic – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Mobile market financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Base stations in service by technology – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Market share of 2G base stations by operator – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Market share of 3G base stations by operator – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 25 – Market share of 4G base stations by operator – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Historic - Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 27 – Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 28 – Active mobile subscriptions – 2000 – 2019
  • Table 29 – Active mobile subscriptions by operator– 2014 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Operator market share of active mobile subscriptions – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 31 – LTE mobile internet subscribers – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 32 – Mobile data traffic sent – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 33 – Share of mobile data traffic by operator – 2016 – 2017
  • Table 34 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 35 – Econet Wireless financial data – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 36 – Econet Wireless data revenue – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 37 – Econet Wireless active mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 38 – NetOne active mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 39 – Telecel active mobile subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 40 – Econet Wireless EcoCash subscribers – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 41 – Econet Wireless EcoCash revenue – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 42 – Econet Wireless EcoCash transactions – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 43 – Econet Wireless EcoCash agents – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 44 –Market share of active m-money subscribers by operator – 2015 -2018
  • Table 45 – Mobile money market subscribers and agents – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 46 – Mobile money market data – 2016 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 2 – East Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Africa – Middle-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Leaders) – 2018
  • Chart 4 – East Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country – 2018
  • Chart 5 – East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2018
  • Chart 6 – East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2018
  • Chart 7 – TelOne financial data – 2012 – 2017
  • Chart 8 – TelOne revenue by type – 2014 – 2017
  • Chart 9 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 10 – Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe – 2009 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe – 2001 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – Base stations in service by technology – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 14 – Active mobile subscriptions by operator– 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – Operator market share of active mobile subscriptions – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Econet Wireless financial data – 2010 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Zimbabwe
  • Exhibit 2 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 3 – East Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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