Internet, data traffic up in Q3


Mobile internet and data traffic grew by 43% to record 14,878TB in the third quarter of 2020 from previous quarter on the back of an increase in e-learning and e-conferencing as part of measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has shown.

In the second quarter mobile internet and data traffic was 10,407TB.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies have been holding virtual meetings while schools and universities have adopted e-learning.

Used International Internet Bandwidth Capacity also increased by 16.8% to record 149,665Mbps from 128,173Mbps recorded in the previous quarter, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) said in a third quarter report.

“Internet and data traffic is expected to continue growing due to the increased adoption of e-learning, telecommuting, and e-conferencing,” said Gift Machengete, POTRAZ director general.

Revenue generated by the mobile telephone networks grew by 194.7% to record ZWL$8.9bn in the third quarter ended September 30 from the ZWL$3bn realised in the previous quarter due to an increase in voice traffic.

Operating costs by mobile network operators grew by 23.6% to record ZWL$2.5bn from ZWL$2.1bn recorded in the previous quarter.

Internet access providers’ (IAPs) revenue grew by 148.6% to record ZWL$2.85bn from ZWL$1.15bn while total operating costs for IAPs grew by 109.3% to record ZWL$1.9bn from ZWL$916.8m.

In the outlook, Machengete said subscriber retention would be crucial for operators given the fluctuations in active subscriptions.

“Competition in the various service markets is expected to intensify; operators will compete on products and service offerings as well as prices,” Machengete said, adding that the current levels of market concentration were expected to remain, with Econet and Liquid maintaining dominance of the mobile and IAP markets respectively.

“There will be continued momentum around innovation in non-traditional business models such as Internet of Things applications in order to tap into new revenue streams,” he said.

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