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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics


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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Regulator loses patience with Telecel, revoking its licence

This 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 continues to recover from a decade of recession under gross mismanagement by the country's political leaders. The normalisation of Zimbabwe's economy is reflected in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) forecast of continuous annual GDP growth at around 4% from 2014 onwards. Despite the overall economic difficulties in recent years, the telecom sector has shown considerable promise since the government allowed foreign currencies as alternative legal tender. Mobile penetration has increased more than seven-fold within four years and broke the 100% penetration barrier in 2013 on the back of 3G mobile broadband subscriptions.

The three mobile networks Econet, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe are investing in network upgrades to support data services and their fast-expanding m-commerce and m-banking facilities.
0NetOne'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 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. 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 were launched in 2013, while investment in LTE technologies, for which the regulator has assigned spectrum, continues.

Estimated market penetration rates in Zimbabwe's telecoms sector end-2014
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 128%
Fixed | 2%
Internet | 64%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Market highlights:

Regulator reduces mobile voice tariffs effective from January 2015; ICT Ministry revokes Telecel's licence for failing to pay $137.5 million debt and licence fee; TelOne providing satellite broadband with Avanti Communications; renegotiated USF contribution hampering the regulators ability to resource $62 million in mobile and broadband projects; Telecel Zimbabwe launches Telecash mobile money service; government increases licensing tax, imposes additional levies and a customs tax on mobile handset sales; mobile and broadband market continue strong growth; TelOne and NetOne privatisation planned; fourth mobile licence in progress; report includes regulator's market data to September 2014, telcos' operating and financial data, recent market developments.

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 Satellite access fees
4.16 Subscriber registration
4.17 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 Fibre
7.6.3 Wireless broadband
7.6.4 WiMAX
7.6.5 WiFi
7.6.6 Mobile broadband
7.6.7 Satellite broadband
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
8.1.2 SIM card registration
8.1.3 700MHz spectrum auction
8.1.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
8.1.5 Regulatory measures
8.1.6 Spectrum auction
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 Short Message Service (SMS)
8.6 Third generation (3G)
8.6.1 Econet
8.6.2 Telecel
8.6.3 NetOne
8.7 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
8.8 Mobile banking services
8.9 Satellite mobile
9. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Zimbabwe 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2014
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 TelOne tariffs by call type 2009 - 2014
Table 8 historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2004
Table 9 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe 2005 - 2015
Table 10 International bandwidth 2000 - 2014
Table 11 Internet users and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2000 - 2014
Table 12 Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2000 - 2015
Table 13 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2001 - 2014
Table 14 Ecoweb broadband subscribers 2012 - 2014
Table 15 Ecoweb revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 16 ZOL broadband pricing 2009; 2012
Table 17 ZOL unlimited broadband pricing, residential vs. business 2014
Table 18 TelOne ADSL pricing 2012; 2014
Table 19 ADSL broadband subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 20 ZOL WiFi hotspot pricing 2015
Table 21 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2009 - 2014
Table 22 Mobile market revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 23 Base stations in service September 2004
Table 24 Historic - Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2004
Table 25 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2005 - 2015
Table 26 Active mobile subscriptions in Zimbabwe September 2014
Table 27 Operator share of active mobile subscriptions September 2014
Table 28 Operator share of active mobile subscriptions 2013 - 2014
Table 29 Regulated mobile tariffs January 2015
Table 30 Econet Wireless financial data 2010 - 2014
Table 31 Econet Wireless data revenue 2010 - 2014
Table 32 Econet Wireless subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 33 NetOne mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 34 Telecel mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 35 Econet Wireless EcoCash subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 36 Econet wireless EcoCash revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 37 Mobile money market data 2013 - 2014
Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe 2005 2015
Chart 2 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2005 - 2015
Chart 3 Econet Wireless financial data 2010 2014
Exhibit 1 Map of Zimbabwe
Exhibit 2 One million dollars per minute

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