Tele­coms rev­enues drop 12 per­cent

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

ZIM­BABWE’S mo­bile telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices providers saw their rev­enues for the first quar­ter of this year de­cline 12 per­cent, lat­est Postal and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of Zim­babwe (Po­traz) fig­ures show.

Dur­ing the quar­ter, Econet, NetOne and Tele­cel all posted de­clines in their rev­enues

The tel­cos gen­er­ated a to­tal of $167, 7 mil­lion dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2016, which is a 12,3 per­cent de­cline from the $191,1 mil­lion recorded in the prior com­pa­ra­ble pe­riod.

The reg­u­la­tory body at­trib­uted the de­cline to the in­creased util­i­sa­tion of over-the-top (OTT) ser­vices by users, as well as a gen­er­ally chal­leng­ing econ­omy that has con­strained spend­ing power.

“Mo­bile rev­enues have been de­clin­ing due to the sub­sti­tu­tion of tra­di­tional mo­bile ser­vices with Over­the-Top ser­vices as well as the gen­eral eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment,” said Po­traz.

“OTT voice ap­pli­ca­tions such as Viber, Skype and What­sApp call­ing have be­come pop­u­lar al­ter­na­tives for in­ter­na­tional call­ing as they are sig­nif­i­cantly cheaper; this has re­sulted in fall­ing in­ter­na­tional voice traf­fic and in turn fall­ing rev­enue from in­ter­na­tional voice ser­vices.”

The in­creas­ing im­pact of OTT ser­vices is in­di­cated in an anal­y­sis which shows that dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view, na­tional voice traf­fic de­clined by 15,3 per­cent to record 1 bil­lion min­utes from 1,2 bil­lion min­utes recorded in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

At the same time, in­ter­na­tional in­com­ing and out­go­ing traf­fic de­clined by 16,5 per­cent and 13,8 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

And due to the im­pact of OTT ser­vices, Po­traz noted a jump in mo­bile data util­i­sa­tion by 25,5 per­cent dur­ing the pe­riod to 1 510 379 839MB from 1 203 378 839MB in the quar­ter ended De­cem­ber 31, 2015.

The sta­tis­tics show that al­though Econet lost 1 per­cent market share dur­ing the quar­ter, it still held the ma­jor­ity at 53,3 per­cent, fol­lowed by NetOne with 32,1 per­cent and Tele­cel with 14,6 per­cent.

NetOne was the only op­er­a­tor to gain market share of base sta­tions as they com­mis­sioned the high­est num­ber of base sta­tions.

Not­with­stand­ing the on­go­ing de­bate about in­fra­struc­ture shar­ing, Po­traz says the to­tal num­ber of base sta­tions in the coun­try in­creased by 6,5 per­cent to 6 720 from 6 311 in the prior quar­ter.

“The to­tal num­ber of LTE eNodeBs (eNBs) (‘base sta­tions’) in the coun­try in­creased from 312 to 326 as NetOne com­mis­sioned 14 new LTE eNBs in the quar­ter un­der re­view,” noted the reg­u­la­tor.

Fur­ther anal­y­sis shows that the to­tal num­ber of base sta­tions in ur­ban ar­eas stood at 1 940 ver­sus 4 780 base sta­tions in ur­ban ar­eas. And a com­par­i­son with the fourth quar­ter fig­ures shows that base sta­tions in ru­ral ar­eas in­creased by 11 per­cent from 1 748 to reach 1 940 base sta­tions (al­though the in­crease was mostly in 2G tech­nol­ogy). — BH24.

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