The country’s mobile network operators’ sector is dominated by three firms including NetOne and two privately-owned entities, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which is still the largest company by subscriber base, and Telecel Zimbabwe.
In a statement, NetOne said the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) in its sector performance report for the third quarter in 2021 indicated that the parastatal’s mobile subscriber base increased to 4,279 million from 4,027 million in the second quarter of the same year.
“NetOne continues to sail above the rest in the mobile network operation industry by recording again a growth in mobile subscription. This follows the statistics from the just-released Potraz Sector Performance Report for the 3rd quarter in 2021.
“Of the increase in the whole sector, NetOne recorded the highest growth rate of 6,3 percent.
“Econet recorded slightly above 2 percent while Telecel recorded an insignificant growth of less than 1 percent,” it said.
Potraz in its report has indicated that the country’s mobile network subscriber base during the third quarter of 2021 increased by 3,4 percent increase to 13,935 million compared to 13,481 million recorded in the second quarter ended June 30, 2021.
Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate increased by 2,2 percent to reach 93,5 percent in the third quarter from 91,3 percent recorded in the second quarter of last year.
NetOne chief executive officer Mr Raphel Mushanawani was quoted saying his organisation is excited over the mandate the public has given them to be their digital communication solutions partner.
“We are pleased to let the public know that we are serious about the mandate they have given us, to be their digital communication-solutions partner.
“In the third quarter of 2021, we deployed a total of over 50 new base stations. Recently the company introduced new innovations on the market-driven by smart technologies.
“NetOne has been continuously enhancing its product and services portfolio to suit the lifestyle of its customers.
“If you have been following our journey, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and have further cemented our position as Your Number One Digital Solutions network.
“We are happy to have added a number of innovations into the basket this last quarter,” he said.
Mr Mushanawani said their innovation drive has seen NetOne introducing OneMoney Remit, a much-needed financial inclusion solution that has domestic forex remittance possible.
Other Smart Solutions include Hurudza/Umlimi Omkhulu, an e-agriculture platform that supports the farming community.
Another innovation in the basket is OneHealth, a platform that allows customers to get smart health solutions.
“This is after we appreciated the times that we are in, especially with the effects of Covid-19. “Our commitment to enhancing digital literacy saw us launching the Dzidzo/Ifundo platform for university students to access e-learning.
“NetOne has also staked its claim in the hugely profitable mobile gaming market through OneGaming.
“We fully understand the need to embrace the digital sphere and commit to equipping future generations with relevant ICT solutions,” he said.
NetOne’s spokesperson Mrs Roselyn Chisveto was quoted saying as part of her organisation’s thrust to positively contribute towards Vision 2030- making Zimbabwe an upper-middle-income economy, they have taken a deliberate move to increase the subscriber base.
“Further this goal is in alignment with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1), to digitalise the economy and facilitate access to Information Communication Technology at village level.
“ICTs are at the heart of development of the Zimbabwean economy and as such we are directing all our efforts towards connecting the unconnected.
“We continue to invest in infrastructure to make sure that there is increased network coverage to previously marginalised areas,” she said.
The growth trajectory by the state-owned telecommunications giant has been sustained by the growth in infrastructure against competition.
In the same report for the quarter under review, Potraz indicated that NetOne has gained market share of 2G, 3G and LTE by 0,1 percent, 0,4 percent and 2,2 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, the telecommunications giant has also taken the lead in the development of mobile telephone infrastructure on the back of a partnership with Huawei Technologies.
Of late, NetOne and the Chinese multinational technology firm have partnered in upgrading mobile network services aimed at improving efficiency in mobile broadband.
Recently, President Mnangagwa officiated at the NetOne, Huawei Mobile Broadband (MBB) Phase 3 project, which is an information technology project aimed at supporting the country towards the attainment of an upper-middle-income economy status by 2023 and the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1) as it is an enabler for development, communication, and business investment.