Zimbabwe’s internet penetration almost 50%. More than 99% of that is mobile

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

Opera Mini, EconetAccording to data sent to us by Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, Zimbabwe’s internet penetration is now 47%. The total number of internet subscriptions in the country as at the end of June 2014 was 6.1 million, up from 5.6 million in March this year.

The most remarkable but still obvious thing from these stats, as usual, is the number of mobile subscriptions contributing to this total. Mobile – that is 3G, Edge, GPRS, LTE, CDMA etc… – is 99.05 percent of these internet subscription. Fixed internet, your fibre, DSL, WiMAX and dial-up lines (Yes, dial-up!) is the remaining 0.95% subscriptions. A mere 58,000 connections.

Here’s a breakdown of the internet connections:

Technology1st Quarter 20142nd Quarter 2014
Dial up8,9018,935
Fibre links1,4021,722
Leased Lines1,3981,637

More in general, internet subscription in the country have increased in by 9.1%, which is a lot considering that active mobile subscribers inn general seem to be falling. For some of the operators at least. To note ofcourse is that internet subscriptions are not the thing as internet users. Some people have multiple sim cards by different providers and sometimes the same operator for different devices.

This also gives a general picture of the number of subscriptions operators pushing the fixed internet packages are managing to sign up. Fibre is a Liquid, Telecontract, Powertel and Africom thing, and DSL is TelOne technology. The clear thing is that fixed internet subscriptions are not growing as fast as we all would want. The main contributory factor is the infrastructure cost and cost of setup. Fixed internet is just not as cheap as mobile to set up.

Click here to see an article focused on the interesting facts about these stats.


  1. e-Observer

    Interesting… WiMAX and VSAT business is declining seriously, probably owing to the rapid expansion of Fibre. However these stats might be missing some “black market” numbers especially VSAT wise (not all VSATs are accounted for with Potraz)… Nice to see Dial-Up is still in the game kkkkkkkk

  2. fourwallsinaroom

    Please can you expand on the ADSL technologies available. That is do we have ADSL +2 HDSL etc.

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      I’m sure most of that is ADSL

  3. Robert Ndlovu

    Quite accurate if we redefine whatsapp and facebook to be the the internet.

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      I am wondering what Whatsapp is classified as. It is an IP based service that requires the internet to function. What econet and telecel have done is simply allow access to whatsapp servers only (creating a rule that says block all and then immediately below that rule allow whatsapp) so for you what is whatsapp if it is not internet access albeit limited access. Would you also therefore say the sites on econet zero are not to be inlcuded in internet penetration statistics as everyone gets access to that if you have a web capable phone?

  4. Tendayi

    I am curious on bandwidth consumption statistics.. Can we also get a picture of how the national bandwidth consumption is spread across networks

  5. Black Swan

    Does POTRAZ prohibit the formation of MVNOs in Zimbabwe, and if not, why haven’t we had such operators in this country?