POSTAL and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is investigating why state-owned mobile network operator — NetOne — submitted data that does not tally following a compulsory clean up exercise of subscriber numbers.
By Melody Chikono
Potraz ordered an across the board clean up exercise for all the three mobile operators to ascertain the mobile penetration rate in the country. Potraz Q12018 report shows that the mobile penetration rates fell 16,1% from 102% in Q4 2017. This comes after NetOne shed 47% of its subscribers during the quarter at 2,6 million subscribers down from 4,9 million subscribers in Q4 2017.
Subsequently, NetOne’s market share declined to 23% from 35% in Q4 2017.
During the same period, Telecel subscribers also declined 12,4% to 1,4 million from 1,6 million in the previous quarter while Econet gained 2,2% to 7,6 million subscribers from 7,4 million in the previous quarter.
According to the report, NetOne subscribers decline was attributable to challenges it faced with its One Fusion product which resulted in many subscribers who did not perform any revenue generating activity in Q1 2018.
Potraz Director General Gift Machengete told businessdigest this week that his organisation has started looking into NetOne’s challenges and understanding why its data did not match.
“We asked them to clean up their databases and give us the numbers of active subscribers so that we work with realistic figures. The results for other operators were close but Net one had challenges and we are looking at those challenges to and understand why they gave us figures that did not tally,” he said.
This comes at a time the regulator is penalising mobile network operators for provisions of poor service, adding that so far all the operators have been penalised.
Netone CE Lazarus Muchenje referred all questions to the Potraz report adding the company was now limited in terms of availing information as it commences the partial privatisation process.