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Marked decline in mobile transactions

ZIMBABWE has reported a significant decline in the value of mobile and internet based transactions from US$479,7 million in October 2014 to US$279,5 million in November 2014, according to latest figures.

Taurai Mangudhla

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s November 2014 monthly economic review, internet transactions dropped in value from US$117,4 million in October 2014 to US$103,8 million in October 2013, while mobile transactions slid to US$358,8 million in November 2014 compared to US$362,3 million the previous month.

The decline in mobile transactions is despite government’s projections mobile money would continue to grow going forward.

According to Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz)’s Postal and Telecommunications Sector Performance Report for the third quarter of 2014, the mobile money transfer service is expected to continue reporting positive growth going forward after recording growth during the quarter under review.

Potraz said the total value of transfers and transaction on mobile money services increased by 35,8% to record US$403,1 million from US$$296,8 million recorded in the previous quarter while the number of mobile money transfer subscriptions grew by 16,3% to reach 4,9 million from 4,2 million subscribers recorded in the previous quarter.

“The number of agents increased by a record 4,181 as mobile operators sought to increase their distribution networks for the mobile money services,” said the telecommunications regulator.

Potraz said mobile network operators generated a total of US$247,7 million in revenues during the third quarter of 2014, a 9% increase in revenue from US$227,2 million recorded in the previous quarter.

The revenue growth comes as Econet Wireless, the country’s leading mobile network in 2014 announced its growth would be spurred by new product innovation outside the traditional voice services and its mobile money platform, EcoCash.

According to Potraz, the telecommunications sector has undergone major phases in its growth and technological advancements over the period, with the sector introducing new services and products.

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