The Herald (Harare)

12 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Telecel Subscriber Base Soars

TELECEL Zimbabwe has announced that its subscriber base has increased by 500 000 from 1,5 million at the end of last year to two million.

The company's chief commercial officer, Mr Ashraf Elguindy, said this during the company's Corporate Golf Day in Harare last week.

The growth in subscriber base follows an earlier forecast by outgoing Telecel Zimbabwe chief executive Mr John Swaim that the company's subscriber base, which stood at 1,8 million at the end of March, would reach two million this month.

"The number of subscribers we have has soared to two million and continues to grow.

"We have also been able to benefit from being part of the Orascom Telecom group and from Orascom's new status as a subsidiary of an even larger telecommunications group, VimpelCom," he said.

VimpelCom is the sixth largest telecommunications operator in the world.

Mr Elguindy highlighted that the subscriber base growth had been driven by the company's new and innovative products and services such as the introduction of data bundles and the reduction in the cost of these bundles.

Telecel has led the way within the mobile telecommunications sector in reducing service costs.

"Telecel's data bundle service was not only the best value offered by any mobile network but was probably the lowest data service rates offered anywhere in Zimbabwe," he said.

He also referred to Telecel's introduction of Tele-Tunes, a service that allows subscribers to substitute a tune or song of their choice for the ringing tone that callers hear when they phone them. Telecel was the first local company to introduce this service in the country.

Other strategies that Telecel have used to reach their targeted two million subscribers was Telecel's Mega Juice Card offering subscribers a 100 percent bonus on recharge.

The US$1 card is used in making calls to any Telecel customer as well as 50 cents emergency credit that it offers regular subscribers who run out of airtime but still need to make a call.

Telecel has also continued to expand its network and install new base stations both to extend its reach geographically and to increase the capacity of areas where the network was well established and where the demand for Telecel's services, both voice and data, continued to grow.

Mr Elguindy said the appointment of Mr Francis Mawindi was expected to benefit Telecel greatly, given his extensive experience in telecommunications in the Americas, where he was the France Telecom Orange head of business operations for global services in both North America and Latin America.

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