Listed telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has extended its mobile data market leadership and consolidated its position as a leading digital service provider, latest industry statistics show.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz)'s 2020 fourth quarter sector performance report released on Tuesday, Econet's mobile Internet and data traffic market share surged by 8,7 percentage points to reach 78,4 percent.
At the same time, NetOne and Telecel lost market share by 8,1 percent and 0,6 percent, respectively.
"A total of 16,834 Terabytes of mobile Internet and data was consumed in the fourth quarter of 2020. This represents a 13,1 percent increase from 14 878 Terabytes consumed in the third quarter of 2020," Potraz said.
"In-bundle data constituted 97,1 percent of total mobile Internet and data usage, up from 95,1 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2020," said the report.
Industry experts said Econet is reaping dividends of investing over US$2,5 billion in resilient network infrastructure that allowed customers to work and learn from home last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe spent almost eight months of 2020 under various levels of national lockdowns imposed by the government in a bid to protect citizens against the deadly respiratory disease which wreaked havoc across the world.
In an effort to meet consumers' ever-changing needs, Econet repositioned its business a couple of years ago to become a "Digital Lifestyle Network." The digital lifestyle journey for the customer has been mirrored by an ongoing strategic business re-engineering drive to transition the company into a full digital service provider.
POTRAZ has urged more investment in data infrastructure to expedite the country's digital transformation journey by increasing access to data services to support critical imperatives such as online education, health and economic recovery, among others.
"Covid-19 will not go away so soon, but its spread will decrease owing to ongoing vaccinations across the globe and at national level. Hence, prospects for economic recovery are bright especially given the expectation of a maize bumper harvest. This will boost agro-based production, which has not been the case for a long time," the regulator said.
"The anticipated increase in economic activity will create more employment opportunities and increase disposable incomes, which will help boost aggregate demand."
The report noted that Zimbabwe is likely to witness a surge in demand for communication services, in particular data and courier volumes as consumers adapt to the new way of life and of doing business.
"Hence, digitalisation is likely to be scaled up, with operators repositioning themselves by upgrading and automating their networks to enhance agility to deliver new services and applications to meet fast changing and versatile consumer demands.
"Coverage only, will no longer be a key strategic factor, hence we may see operators investing more in faster broadband technologies such as 4G and probably 5G. Given the demand in broadband, and the competition in its provision, there will be renewed focus on customers' needs by taking a more refined approach to customer engagement," read part of the report.