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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses


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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Zimbabwe's government proposes mobile network infrastructure sharing

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.

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 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-2015 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 108%
Fixed | 2.8%
Internet | 48%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Econet and Liquid Telecom withdraw from the Conference on network sharing conditions;
Liquid telecom extends wholesale FttP services to Victoria Falls;
Brainworks Capital withdraws bid for Telecel;
TelOne expands fibre footprint, expands WiFi infrastructure in Harare;
Econet expands m-commerce;
New ICT policy to be submitted, revising the 2010 plan;
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 update includes regulator's market data to September 2014, telcos' operating and financial data, 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.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 The market in 2015
4.2 Historic overview
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Sector Reform Policy 1996
5.2 Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000
5.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
5.3.1 SNO licence
5.4 Regulatory authority
5.4.1 POTRAZ
5.5 Licence fees
5.6 Tariffs
5.7 Interception of Communications Bill
5.8 New nationalisation law 2008
5.9 ICT Strategy 2010
5.10 ICT Strategy 2015
5.11 New draft ICT Bill
5.12 International gateways, interconnection
5.13 Value-added tax (VAT)
5.14 Universal Service Fund (USF)
5.15 Fibre trenching fees
5.16 Satellite access fees
5.17 Subscriber registration
5.17.1 Infrastructure sharing
5.18 Per-second billing
5.19 Mobile tariffs 2015
5.20 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 TelOne
6.1.1 Privatisation
6.1.2 Fixed-line infrastructure
6.1.3 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.1.4 National fibre backbone
6.2 TeleAccess Zimbabwe
6.3 Afritell
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Fixed-line statistics
7.2 Smart grid infrastructure
8. International infrastructure
8.1 TelOne
8.2 Liquid Telecom (Econet)
8.3 Other carriers
9. Broadband market
9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
9.1.1 Broadband statistics
9.2 Public Internet access locations
9.3 Data carriers
9.3.1 Africom Zimbabwe
9.3.2 DataOne, SatNet
9.3.3 Powertel Communications
9.3.4 Telco Internet
9.3.5 Broadlands Networks
9.3.6 Aquiva
9.4 ISP market
9.4.1 Africa Online Zimbabwe
9.4.2 ComOne
9.4.3 Ecoweb
9.4.4 iWayAfrica (MWEB)
9.4.5 Zimbabwe Online (ZOL)
9.5 Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX)
9.6 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks
9.7 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
9.8 Fixed Wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
9.8.1 WiMAX
9.8.2 WiFi
9.8.3 Satellite broadband
10. Digital Economy
10.1 E-commerce
10.2 E-learning
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Market analysis - 2015
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.1.2 Mobile data services
11.1.3 Mobile broadband statistics
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 SIM card registration
11.2.2 700MHz spectrum auction
11.2.3 Fourth mobile licence
11.2.4 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
11.2.5 Mobile tariffs - 2015
11.2.6 Network sharing
11.2.7 Spectrum auction - 2015
11.3 Mobile infrastructure
11.3.1 Digital networks
11.3.2 Other infrastructure developments
11.4 Major mobile operators
11.4.1 Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)
11.4.2 NetOne
11.4.3 Telecel Zimbabwe
11.5 Mobile content and applications
11.5.1 Money transfer, m-banking
11.5.2 M-commerce
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Zimbabwe 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2015
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 TelOne tariffs by call type 2009 - 2015
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 - 2015
Table 12 Fixed-line internet subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe 2000 - 2015
Table 13 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe 2001 - 2015
Table 14 Ecoweb broadband subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 15 Ecoweb revenue 2013 - 2015
Table 16 ZOL unlimited broadband pricing, residential vs. business 2015
Table 17 TelOne ADSL pricing 2012; 2015
Table 18 ADSL broadband subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 19 ZOL WiFi hotspot pricing 2015
Table 20 Mobile market revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 21 Base stations in service September 2014
Table 22 Historic - Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2004
Table 23 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2005 - 2015
Table 24 Active mobile subscriptions in Zimbabwe September 2014
Table 25 Operator share of active mobile subscriptions September 2014
Table 26 Operator share of active mobile subscriptions 2013 - 2014
Table 27 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2009 - 2015
Table 28 Regulated mobile tariffs January 2015
Table 29 Econet Wireless financial data 2010 - 2015
Table 30 Econet Wireless data revenue 2010 - 2015
Table 31 Econet Wireless subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 32 NetOne mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 33 Telecel mobile subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 34 Econet Wireless EcoCash subscribers 2011 - 2014
Table 35 Econet Wireless EcoCash revenue 2013 - 2014
Table 36 Econet Wireless EcoCash transactions 2013 - 2014
Table 37 M-money market share by operator 2014
Table 38 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 2015
Exhibit 1 Map of Zimbabwe
Exhibit 2 One million dollars per minute

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