Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Zimbabwe since 2019 has been hit by significant macro-economic difficulties, a climate-related drought, and the effects of COVID-19. Revenue from the telecom sector came under pressure from a number of recent regulatory measures and taxes imposed by the cash-strapped government, though to alleviate the effects of inflation, mobile service tariffs have been increased three times since mid-2019. While these measures were aimed at helping MNOs to pay for internet bandwidth and equipment with a deteriorating currency, the effect later into 2020 is likely to reduce consumption of services among subscribers. Inflation has become so high that year-on-year revenue comparisons from 2019 are difficult to assess meaningfully.

The three MNOs Econet Wireless, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe continue to invest in network upgrades, partly supported by government efforts and cash released from the Universal Service Fund.

International bandwidth has improved since fibre links to several submarine cables were established via neighbouring countries. The expansion of 3G and LTE-based mobile broadband services has meant that about 85% of the population 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, and also fibre subscriptions.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Government asks World bank's IFC to advise on TelOne and NetOne privatisation;
Telcos agree to the governments infrastructure sharing policy;
Regulator revokes a number of ISP licenses;
TelOne providing satellite broadband with Avanti Communications;
Regulator allocates more spectrum to the MNOs to increase capacity as a COVID-19 response;
Government enforces m-money interoperability on MNOs, changes m-money tax basis;
NetOne refreshes m-money service;
Government begins $250 million investment to build 500 mobile towers to serve rural areas;
Report update includes the regulators market data to Q1 2020, telcos operating and financial data to March 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, 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.


  • Executive Summary
  • Key Statistics
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Zimbabwe - 2020 (e)
  • Regional Africa Market Comparison
    • TMI VS GDP
    • MOBILE AND MOBILE BROADBAND
    • FIXED AND MOBILE BROADBAND
  • Country overview
  • COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector
    • ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS AND RESPONSES
    • MOBILE DEVICES
    • SUBSCRIBERS
    • INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Telecommunications market
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Change in telecom revenue by services - 2010 - 2020
  • Regulatory environment
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • FIXED-LINE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Sector Reform Policy 1996
      • Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000
      • Telecom sector liberalisation
      • SNO licence
      • Privatisation
      • 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)
    • MOBILE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
      • SIM card registration
      • Fourth mobile licence
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Network sharing
      • Spectrum auction
      • Spectrum Allocation Plan
  • Mobile market
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Development of mobile voice traffic - 2012 - 2020
      • Table Mobile market financial data - 2010 - 2020
      • Table Growth in the number of base stations in service by technology - 2013 - 2020
      • Table Change in the market share of 2G base stations by operator - 2015 - 2020
      • Table Change in the market share of 3G base stations by operator - 2015 - 2020
      • Table Change in the market share of LTE base stations by operator - 2015 - 2020
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Change in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
      • Table Growth in the number of active mobile subscriptions, and penetration rate - 2010 – 2025
      • Table Change in the number of active mobile subscriptions by operator- 2014 - 2020
      • Table Change in the market share of active mobile subscriptions by operator - 2013 – 2020
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • 4G (LTE)
        • Table LTE mobile internet subscribers - 2014 - 2017
      • 3G
      • Satellite mobile
    • MOBILE DATA
      • Table Growth in mobile data traffic - 2012 - 2020
      • Table Change in the market share of mobile data traffic by operator - 2016 - 2020
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Table Change in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2025
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)
        • Table Development of Econet Wireless's financial data - 2010 - 2020
        • Table Growth in Econet Wireless's data revenue - 2010 - 2019
        • Table Growth in the number of Econet Wireless's mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2020
      • NetOne
        • Table Decline in the number of NetOne's active mobile subscribers - 2011 - 2020
      • Telecel Zimbabwe
        • Table Change in the number of Telecel's active mobile subscribers - 2011 - 2020
      • Mobile Virtual Network operators (MVNOs)
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Money transfer, m-banking
        • Table Increase in the number of Econet Wireless's registered EcoCash subscribers - 2012 – 2019
        • Table Econet Wireless's active EcoCash subscribers (regulator data) - 2015 - 2020
        • Table Development of Econet Wireless's EcoCash revenue - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Econet Wireless EcoCash transactions - 2013 - 2018
        • Table Increase in the number of Econet Wireless's EcoCash agents - 2013 - 2019
        • Table Market share of active m-money subscribers by operator - 2015 -2020
        • Table Mobile money market subscribers and agents - 2013 - 2020
        • Table Change in the value of the m-money market - 2016 - 2020
      • M-commerce
  • Fixed-line broadband market
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Table Increase in internet access revenue and investment - 2010 - 2020
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Growth in the number of internet subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2020
        • Table Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration - 2010 – 2025
      • Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX)
      • National Broadband Project
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table Growth in the number of DSL subscribers - 2012 - 2020
      • ISP market
        • Table Growth in the number of Ecoweb's data subscribers - 2012 - 2019
        • Table Ecoweb broadband revenue - 2013 - 2019
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP)
      • Table Growth in the number of fibre broadband subscribers - 2013 - 2020
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • WiMAX
        • Table Decline in the number of WiMAX internet subscribers - 2013 - 2020
      • Wi-Fi
      • Satellite broadband
        • Table Satellite internet subscribers - 2013 - 2020
  • Digital Economy
    • E-COMMERCE
    • E-LEARNING
    • E-HEALTH
  • Fixed network operators
    • TELONE
      • Table TelOne financial data - 2012 - 2018
      • Table TelOne revenue by type - 2014 - 2018
      • Fixed-line infrastructure
        • Table National backbone fibre length - 2013 - 2017
    • TELEACCESS ZIMBABWE
    • AFRITELL
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Decline in the number of fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2010 - 2025
      • Table Change in fixed-line telephony revenue - 2013 - 2019
      • Table Fixed-line voice traffic - 2012 - 2020
    • SMART GRID INFRASTRUCTURE
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Table Increase in international internet bandwidth - 2010 - 2020
      • Table International bandwidth by operator (Mb/s) -2015 - 2020
      • TelOne
      • Liquid Telecom (Econet)
      • Other carriers
      • Data centres
      • Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
  • Historic data
    • Table Historic - Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe - 1999 - 2009
    • Table Historic - Active mobile subscriptions - 2000 - 2008
    • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe - 1999 - 2009
    • Table Historic - Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration - 2001 - 2009
    • Table Historic - International bandwidth - 2002 - 2009
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Related reports

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