Zimbabwe’s leading telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe posted a 2,1% fall in its market share for data and internet traffic during the final quarter of 2022.

According to the telecommunications regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) report, Econet’s close competitor, NetOne increased its market share by 2,1% in the period under review.

Apparently, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, increased its subscriber market to 69.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the latest industry figures.

Potraz Sector Performance Report for the 4th Quarter of 2022, which was released last week, says Econet grew its customer base by 2.9 percent to 69.9 percent after it increased its active subscriber base by 234 485 new subscribers to 9 988 105, up from 9 753 620 recorded in the third quarter of 2022.

The report said Econet’s growth was at the expense of NetOne and Telecel, which both saw a 2.4 percent and 0.5 percent dip in active customers, to end the quarter at 27.4 percent and 2.7 percent subscriber market share respectively.

NetOne’s subscriber base slipped to 3 922 734 from 4 339 133, while Telecel lost 79 538 subscribers to close the year at 389 951.

According to DataReportal, there were 5.74 million internet users in Zimbabwe at the start of 2023. That’s 34.8% of the population. This data is from the Internation Telecommunications Union.

The latest Potraz’s sector report for Q3 2023 talks about an internet penetration rate of 63.9%.

That’s quite the difference; 34.8% compared to 63.9%. According to critics these may be two different time periods in question but it is highly unlikely that we would see such a drop in the internet penetration rate from September 2022 to January 2023.