State owned telecommunications NetOne grew its market share to 36,6% mainly due to an upsurge in data use in the last quarter of 2016,the latest regulator report shows.
NetOne which grew its market share from 36,4% is the only telecoms company that registered a growth after Econet Wireless has its market share remain flat at 49,4% and that of Telecel fell from 14,2% to 14% .
According to the Postal And Telecommunications Regulatory Authority OF Zimbabwe (Potraz) NetOne experienced the biggest growth in data utilisation due to one fusion packages.
There has been continuous growth in data usage over the past year.
“Total traffic on the fixed network increased by 0,9% to record 155,1 million minutes from 153,6 million minutes recorded in the previous quarter. An increase in fourth quarter traffic is typical due to the peak festive period. All the categories of fixed voice traffic registered an increase with the exception of international incoming traffic,” Potraz said.
Total mobile revenues increased by 2,4% to record US$199,2 million from US$194,5 million recorded in the previous quarter.
Mobile data utilisation increased by 19% to record 2,567,401,044 MB from 2,157,903,415MB (1,771.9TB) recorded in the previous quarter.
National voice traffic for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 843,897,116 minutes; this represents an 8,6% decline from 923,465,449 recorded in the previous quarter.
There was a general drop in SMS traffic in the period under review. The decline in SMS traffic is generally attributable to the substitution of traditional SMS with over-the-top (OTT) text messaging which is significantly cheaper.
OTT messaging is defined as instant messaging services provided by third parties, as an alternative to text messaging services provided by a mobile network operator.
“The substitution of traditional voice with OTT text and voice is also attributed to the general decline in traffic,” the report said.
An example is the Facebook-owned mobile application WhatsApp that serves to replace text messaging on Internet connected smartphones.
Due to the cash shortages buffeting the country ,Mobile money transactions decreased by 35%, with cross networking transactions going down by 44%.
The decline was attributed to the 15,4% decline in net-on-net traffic .
The total number of active mobile telephone subscriptions increased by 1,4% to reach 12,878,926 from 12,696,303 recorded in the previous quarter.
An active mobile line is one which has been used to make or receive a call and/or send or receive a message at least once in the past 90 days.-Fidelity Mhlanga