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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Booming mobile and broadband market following economic liberalisation

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Zimbabwe's telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

The impact of the economic and political crisis;
Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
Internet and broadband development and growth, including 3G mobile;
Broadband services and pricing trends.

Zimbabwe's economy is recovering from a decade of recession under gross mismanagement by its political leaders. The country's telecom industry has been booming since the government finally allowed foreign currencies as alternative legal tender, which had already been the unofficial fuel of the local economy for years. Mobile penetration has increased more than seven-fold within four years and broke the 100% penetration barrier in early 2013 on the back of 3G mobile broadband subscriptions.

Hundreds of millions of US dollars are being invested into the three mobile networks Econet, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe. The normalisation of Zimbabwe's economy is reflected in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) forecast of continuous annual GDP growth at around 5%, following a spike to 10% in 2011.

NetOne's parent, TelOne (formerly PTC) still holds a de-facto monopoly on fixed-line services in the country. The government is planning to privatise up to 60% of TelOne and NetOne, either through an IPO or a strategic partnership with a foreign investor. TelOne has been awarded the country's fourth mobile licence but hasn't launched a service yet.

Limitations of international bandwidth for the landlocked country have held back development of the internet and broadband sector, but this has changed since fibre optic links to several submarine cables have been established via neighbouring countries. Massive expansion of 3G mobile broadband services across the country has meant that more than half of the population now has access to the internet. The first commercial LTE services are expected later this year.

Market highlights:

Booming mobile and broadband market;
New domestic and international fibre connections;
Hundreds of millions of US dollars in network expansions;
TelOne, NetOne privatisation planned;
Second biggest mobile network up for sale;
Fourth mobile licence in waiting.

Estimated market penetration rates in Zimbabwe's telecoms sector end-2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 114%
Fixed | 2%
Internet | 53%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered 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.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview (economy)
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Zimbabwe's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Sector Reform Policy 1996
4.2 Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.3.1 SNO licence
4.4 Regulatory authority
4.4.1 POTRAZ
4.5 Licence fees
4.6 Tariffs
4.7 Interception of Communications Bill
4.8 New nationalisation law 2008
4.9 New ICT Strategy 2010
4.10 New draft ICT Bill
4.11 International gateways, interconnection
4.12 Value-added tax (VAT)
4.13 Universal Service Fund (USF)
4.14 Fibre trenching fees
4.15 SIM card registration
4.16 Per-second billing
5. Fixed network operators in Zimbabwe
5.1 TelOne
5.1.1 Privatisation
5.1.2 Fixed-line infrastructure
5.1.3 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.4 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
5.1.5 National fibre backbone
5.2 TeleAccess Zimbabwe
5.3 Afritell
6. International infrastructure
6.1 TelOne
6.2 Liquid Telecom (Econet)
6.3 Other carriers
7. Broadband and Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Public Internet access locations
7.3 Data carriers
7.3.1 Africom Zimbabwe
7.3.2 DataOne, SatNet
7.3.3 Powertel Communications
7.3.4 Telco Internet
7.3.5 Broadlands Networks
7.3.6 Aquiva
7.4 Zimbabwe's ISP market
7.4.1 Africa Online Zimbabwe
7.4.2 ComOne
7.4.3 Ecoweb
7.4.4 iWayAfrica (MWEB)
7.4.5 Zimbabwe Online (ZOL)
7.5 Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX)
7.6 Broadband in Zimbabwe
7.6.1 ADSL
7.6.2 Wireless broadband
7.6.3 WiMAX
7.6.4 WiFi
7.7 VoIP
7.8 E-commerce
7.9 E-learning
8. Mobile communications
8.1 Overview of Zimbabwe's mobile market
8.1.1 Mobile statistics
8.2 Major mobile operators
8.2.1 Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)
8.2.2 NetOne
8.2.3 Telecel Zimbabwe
8.3 Fourth mobile licence
8.4 Mobile data services
8.5 BlackBerry
8.6 Third generation (3G)
8.6.1 Econet
8.6.2 Telecel
8.6.3 NetOne
8.7 LTE
8.8 Mobile banking services
8.9 Satellite mobile
9. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Zimbabwe 2013
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2013
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2013
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2013
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 TelOne tariffs by call type 2009 - 2012
Table 8 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2014
Table 9 Internet users and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2000 - 2014
Table 10 DataOne leased-line tariffs Feb. 2009
Table 11 DataOne leased-line tariffs, dedicated and shared bandwidth 2009 - 2012
Table 12 ZOL broadband pricing 2012 vs. 2009
Table 13 TelOne ADSL pricing 2012
Table 14 ZOL WiFi hotspot pricing 2012
Table 15 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2014
Chart 1 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2002 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Map of Zimbabwe
Exhibit 2 One million dollars per minute

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