Zimbabwe’s latests telecoms stats – It’s real and not pretty! (2014 Q3 Download)

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

smartphones_zimbabweAs you may know, POTRAZ just released the latest telecoms stats in a report for 2014 Q3. We’d expect Q4 ofcourse but let’s not focus on that right now. The media has been glowingly positive about what the report shows which is somewhat surprising considering the picture it paints. We’re guessing that’s because the sector has been growing healthily these past couple of years it’s not easy to see anything else when you’re not looking beyond the PR. The report attempts to be indirectly clear about a lot of things like mobile penetration and the picture is not one to celebrate about. Telecel picture is what every operator is more or less experiencing.

Econet for example has been on record as saying their subscribers are over 9 million. It turns out only 6.5 million of those are active, which casts into doubt other aspects of their results have a different picture if analysed closer.

The country collectively has also been celebrating that our mobile penetration is well over 100%. Turns out with the 11.4 million active subscribers, that’s more like 87% based on the 2012 census. And even that includes all SIM cards which means a one guy that has 4 Econet SIMS (smartphone, iPad, Mbudzi, Connected Car) and 1 Telecel SIM is considered 5 subscribers. So the real unique customers penetration could be more like 50%, who knows!

The actual number of subscribers by the telecoms operators in the report are the following:

Zimbabwe Mobile Operator Active Subscribers – 2014 Quarter 3

2nd Quarter 20143rd Quarter 2014Net Addition% Change

Anyway, there’s a lot to talk about separately on the report, which we’ll go into in the coming hours and days. For now, here’s the download so we can all immerse ourselves in where we are as a country and tech platform business ecosystem.

, , ,


  1. fourwallsinaroom

    I am tickled by these figures! 285 Active VSAT terminals? really lets be serious here. 1741 Fibre Links lol. ZOL did a promotion where they ran fibre into your house for free just incase you wanted it, think GPON! What is more astounding is the fact that Econet put up 15plus base stations to service 600 users? hmmm not adding up either my rationale is if you work for EWZ you get access to every network technology available. You just need a device, lets assume that half of Econet’s staff is given a free modem that means that between Econet, Liquid, Steward, Seldon etc. 3000+ employees divided by 2 = 1500 have an LTE gadget. Not to mention fourwallsinaroom and the tourist who goes to vic falls and needs LTE – think UNWTO!
    My only conclusions are POTRAZ is getting fleeced beyond belief or I simply can not read the tables provided! given my telco background i would like to believe i read the table correctly.

    Oh last point Econet has 2000+ base stations and we all know the Liquid project then Ecoweb was to alleviate congestion on the base stations, that said if only 90% are on fibre thats 1800 fibre links.

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      That said… POTRAZ if you are hiring I would love to come be an analyst and travel to all those ITU conferences

    2. JM

      I believe those ones are the ACTIVE ones, no use in reporting rolled out fibre links which r not being used

      1. Doug

        You are right, fibre is being rolled out everywhere, but how many people r really using it. You cant count the number of houses where fibre has been rolled out to say these are subscribers. Those dongles branded LTE, hapana zve LTE paye i have one myself, even the LTE coverage is so poor, most of the times you get 3G, you cant say everyone who has been given or has bought that dongle is an LTE subscriber.

        1. Batsie

          SO, Econet doesnt hv the 9 million users they CLAIM to have, interesting, now i know

      2. fourwallsinaroom

        I know for a fact that these numbers are way off. Especially on active fibre links. I am in the industry.

  2. Magneto

    So Econet were taking us for a ride! I am gutted (sob,sob). I may just consider changing my line to Net…. hold on….just joking guys kkkkkkk

  3. Nigel

    Thanks for this honest review, this is the kind of independent and in-depth analysis that zim needs in all other aspects of the country. Those Econet stats are not surprising, its expected of them to blow their own trumpet

  4. Magneto

    Hi maybe its just me but your download is corrupted…

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      fixed. now pdf. please try again

  5. Gift Gana

    According to this DailyNews article of December 21 (http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/12/21/zim-mobile-penetration-rate-misleading-potraz) only 60% of Zimbabwe’s population has mobile devices. But then again that figure also needs to be clarified because is based on the total population and yet we are not really expecting 2 year old toddlers to be having phones. So maybe the percentage of the adult population with mobile devices is higher.

  6. GUEST

    The dowload file/doc is corrupted, Very Frustrating!!!!

  7. GUEST

    Can we just put up an uncorrupted download file/doc already??? Veduwe…

    1. L.S.M Kabweza

      fixed. now pdf. please try again