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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses



Executive Summary

Zimbabwe’s Telecoms regulator and broadcasting authority set to merge

Zimbabwe’s economy has seen a downturn since the fractious elections of July 2013, resulting in a significant fall in GDP growth. The contribution to GDP from the telecom sector has fallen steadily as a result. Sector revenue has also come under pressure from a number of recent regulatory measures and taxes imposed by the cash-strapped government. Nevertheless, the telecom sector shows some promise, particularly from the mobile sector where mobile penetration has increased rapidly, reaching 116% by early 2018.

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. Telecel was recently acquired by the government from VEON, and the financial demands required for investment has jeopardised resources potentially available to the incumbent telco TelOne, (formerly PTC), which still holds a de-facto monopoly on fixed-line services in the country.

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. The expansion of 3G mobile broadband services across the country, and the more recent efforts to provide LTE services, have 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 in the 700MHz band, continues. In addition, in mid-2018 the government considered issuing technology-neutral licences in a bid to encourage investment in the telecom sector.

Considerable progress continues to be made in rolling out national fibre backbone networks, facilitated by the government’s efforts to encourage network infrastructure sharing. Limitations on international bandwidth are gradually being addressed, with bandwidth available to ISPs increasing sharply. This has greatly reduced the cost of broadband services and encouraged the growth in the number of broadband subscribers. The shift to broadband continues, with the number of dial-up subscribers becoming negligible.

Continuous improvements in national and international fibre infrastructure as well as in 3G and 4G services have raised Zimbabwe’s internet and broadband performance indicators in recent years. Mobile internet connections make up 98% of all internet connections.

Key developments:

Telecoms regulator and broadcasting authority set to merge;

Draft legislation issued to repeal Post and Telecommunications Act;

Regulator proposes to create a new Virtual Network Operator (VNO) license category;

TelOne to deliver FttP to 100,000 premises by end-2018;

Telcos agree to the government’s infrastructure sharing policy;

VEON sells debt-laden unit Telecel to state-owned ISP Zarnet;

Telecel Zimbabwe launches Telecash mobile money service;

Econet Wireless launches Wi-Fi in commuter minibuses;

Government enforces m-money interoperability on MNOs;

NetOne refreshes m-money service;

Regulator to prioritise MNP by end-2018;

Regulator confirms no room for a fourth mobile licensee;

Regulator drafts framework on MVNO licences;

Government begins USD250 million investment to build 500 mobile towers to serve rural areas;

Econet launches EcoCash Ta! tap and go payment system;

Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to February 2018, 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. Key statistics

1.1 Country overview

2. Telecommunications market

2.1 Historical overview

2.2 Market analysis

3. Regulatory environment

3.1 Sector Reform Policy 1996

3.2 Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000

3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation

3.3.1 SNO licence

3.3.2 Privatisation

3.4 Regulatory authority

3.5 Licence fees

3.6 Tariffs

3.7 ICT Strategy 2010

3.8 ICT Strategy 2015

3.9 National Policy for ICT Act 2016

3.10 International gateways, interconnection

3.11 Value-added tax (VAT)

3.12 Universal Service Fund (USF)

3.13 Subscriber registration

3.14 Infrastructure sharing

3.15 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

3.16 Converged Licensing Framework (CLF)

4. Fixed network operators

4.1 TelOne

4.1.1 Fixed-line infrastructure

4.1.2 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)

4.1.3 National fibre backbone

4.2 TeleAccess Zimbabwe

4.3 Afritell

5. Telecommunications infrastructure

5.1 Overview of the national telecom network

5.2 Smart grid infrastructure

5.3 International infrastructure

5.3.1 TelOne

5.3.2 Liquid Telecom (Econet)

5.3.3 Other carriers

5.3.4 Data centres

6. Broadband market

6.1 Introduction and statistical overview

6.1.1 Market analysis

6.1.2 Broadband statistics

6.1.3 Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX)

6.1.4 National Broadband Project

6.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Networks

6.2.1 ISP market

6.3 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)

6.4 Other fixed broadband services

6.4.1 WiMAX

6.4.2 Wi-Fi

6.4.3 Satellite broadband

7. Digital economy

7.1 E-commerce

7.2 E-learning

7.3 E-health

8. Digital media

8.1 Video-on-Demand (VoD)

9. Mobile communications

9.1 Market analysis

9.2 Mobile statistics

9.3 Mobile infrastructure

9.3.1 4G (LTE)

9.3.2 3G

9.3.3 Satellite mobile

9.4 Mobile data

9.5 Mobile broadband

9.6 Regulatory issues

9.6.1 SIM card registration

9.6.2 Fourth mobile licence

9.6.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

9.6.4 Network sharing

9.6.5 Spectrum auction

9.6.6 Spectrum Allocation Plan

9.7 Major mobile operators

9.7.1 Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ)

9.7.2 NetOne

9.7.3 Telecel Zimbabwe

9.7.4 Mobile Virtual Network operators (MVNOs)

9.8 Mobile content and applications

9.8.1 Money transfer, m-banking

9.8.2 M-commerce

9.9 Mobile handsets

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities Zimbabwe 2017

Table 2 TelOne financial data 2012 - 2017

Table 3 TelOne revenue by type financial data 2014 - 2015

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 - 2017

Table 8 Fixed-line voice traffic 2012 - 2017

Table 9 International bandwidth 2000 - 2017

Table 10 International bandwidth by operator 2015 - 2016

Table 11 International bandwidth by operator 2015 - 2017

Table 12 Internet access revenue and investment 2010 - 2017

Table 13 Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2009 - 2019

Table 14 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe 2001 - 2018

Table 15 Internet subscribers 2013 - 2016

Table 16 DSL broadband subscribers 2012 - 2018

Table 17 Ecoweb broadband subscribers 2012 - 2017

Table 18 Ecoweb broadband revenue 2013 - 2017

Table 19 Fibre internet subscribers 2013 - 2017

Table 20 WiMAX internet subscribers 2013 - 2017

Table 21 Satellite internet subscribers 2013 - 2017

Table 22 Mobile voice traffic 2012 - 2017

Table 23 Mobile market financial data 2010 - 2017

Table 24 Base stations in service by technology 2013 - 2017

Table 25 Market share of 2G base stations by operator 2015 - 2017

Table 26 Market share of 3G base stations by operator 2015 - 2017

Table 27 Market share of 4G base stations by operator 2015 - 2017

Table 28 Historic - Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 1999 - 2009

Table 29 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2010 - 2019

Table 30 Active mobile subscriptions 2000 - 2019

Table 31 Active mobile subscriptions by operator 2014 - 2017

Table 32 Operator market share of active mobile subscriptions 2013 - 2017

Table 33 LTE mobile internet subscribers 2014 - 2017

Table 34 Mobile data traffic sent 2012 - 2017

Table 35 Share of mobile data traffic by operator 2016 - 2017

Table 36 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2009 - 2018

Table 37 Econet Wireless financial data 2010 - 2018

Table 38 Econet Wireless data revenue 2010 - 2018

Table 39 Econet Wireless active mobile subscribers 2010 - 2017

Table 40 NetOne active mobile subscribers 2011 - 2017

Table 41 Telecel active mobile subscribers 2011 - 2017

Table 42 Econet Wireless EcoCash subscribers 2011 - 2018

Table 43 Econet Wireless EcoCash revenue 2013 - 2017

Table 44 Econet Wireless EcoCash transactions 2013 - 2018

Table 45 Econet Wireless EcoCash agents 2013 - 2018

Table 46 Market share of active m-money subscribers by operator 2015 -2017

Table 47 Mobile money market subscribers and agents 2013 - 2017

Table 48 Mobile money market data 2016 - 2017

Chart 1 Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Zimbabwe 2005 2019

Chart 2 Internet subscribers and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2009 2019

Chart 3 Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration in Zimbabwe 2001 2018

Chart 4 Base stations in service by technology 2013 2017

Chart 5 Mobile subscriptions and penetration rate in Zimbabwe 2005 - 2019

Chart 6 Active mobile subscriptions by operator 2014 2017

Chart 7 Operator market share of active mobile subscriptions 2013 2017

Chart 8 Econet Wireless financial data 2010 2018

Exhibit 1 Map of Zimbabwe

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Under the copyright laws you may install and use a copy of the research data on the intended user’s computer. The information may be used for the exclusive use of this single user. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

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The information is strictly for use by the authorized staff of the company purchasing the report in the country in which the company operates and must not be published on the internet. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

Single User License:


Under the copyright laws you may install and use a copy of the research data on the intended user's computer. The information may be used for the exclusive use of this single user. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

Enterprise Wide License:


The information is strictly for use by the authorized staff of the company purchasing the report in the country in which the company operates and must not be published on the internet. You must treat the electronic version of our research data as any other copyright material. Furthermore you cannot make the information commercially available. Under no circumstances should other data be copied into our research information, nor may parts be cut out of it into other reports, without our written permission.

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

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Companies (Major Players), Digital Economy, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Africa, Zimbabwe


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