Mobile internet use remained invincible in the second quarter of 2021

According to Zimbabwe’s latest Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, mobile internet usage and traffic charges continued to rise in the second quarter of 2021. (POTRAZ) sector performance report.

Internet circulation (Terabytes To)
Q1 2020 6 661
Q2 2020 10,407
T3 3030 14 878
Q4 2020 16,383
Q1 2021 21,865
Q2 2021 23,436
POTRAZ mobile data traffic statistics

Mobile internet traffic increased 7.2% in the second quarter of 2021 from 21,865 TB recorded in the first quarter. Of the total mobile Internet and data traffic, 1,521,111 MB were consumed by inbound roaming subscribers while 192,403 were consumed by outbound roaming subscribers.

Unsurprisingly, in-bundle data traffic dominated, accounting for 97.3% of total mobile Internet usage. This is an increase of 0.1% compared to the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2021.

MNO market share of mobile data traffic

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe asserted its dominance in the data space in the second quarter of 2021. The country’s largest mobile network operator took 0.6% of the mobile data market share compared to figures reported by POTRAZ.

Q1 2021 Q2 2021 Difference
Econet 74.8% 75.4% 0.6%
NetOne 23.2% 22.8% -0.4%
Telecel 2.0% 1.8% -0.2%
POTRAZ Q2 2021 Report

NetOne, despite having 4 million subscribers, has yet to fully convert the new numbers for data gains. At this point, it would be fair to assume that the new subscribers might be people looking for a second mobile money wallet.

Last year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued a directive requiring that no one can have more than one mobile money wallet on a single operator. This meant that if you wanted a backup or a second wallet, you had to open a Telecash or OneMoney wallet.

Some may wonder why data is an important metric. Well, the answer to this question is very simple in my opinion. Mobile internet is where it is, more and more services are making their way online and on the popular messaging service WhatsApp.

This means that gaining subscribers means little if you don’t make progress on the most popular service right now. Plus, even though we’ve seen price hikes, Zimbabweans continue to push data numbers higher and higher, even though most are for in-bundle shipping.

It will be interesting to see what the folks at NetOne do to catch up. The 10% reduction on airtime they have to buy airtime through OneMoney might also need to be extended to data plans…

Fast NetOne, Econet and Telecel airtime recharge

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