ECONET Wireless says it will now focus on data and overlay services as key revenue streams owing to the decline in use of voice service by the market.
BY OUR STAFF
This is after noticing that cheaper methods of communication such as WhatsApp and Skype had led to a decline in the use of voice services.
Although Econet witnessed an increase of 8 million subscribers as at February 28 this year, the Average Revenue Per User (Arpu), which measures the level of customer activity on the network, decreased from US$10 to US$8 during the same period.
Econet finance director, Roy Chimanikire said initially the company had higher earning subscribers at a time when most people had no access to telephony in the country.
“Over time we have been acquiring the lower value subscribers so they’ve got a dilutive impact, even if we acquire people with lower spend, they increase your revenue and your profit because the marginal cost is lower. This is because we have already put in the infrastructure,” said Chimanikire.
Penetration statistics provided by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) indicate that the country now stands at a penetration rate of 97%.
Zimbabwe is among the countries with the highest access to internet through mobile phones.
According to GSMA Association statistics, Zimbabwe is sitting at a mobile internet penetration rate of 58,1% and Nigeria stands at 57% placing the country way ahead of countries like South Africa.
Econet Wireless chief executive officer, Douglas Mboweni said this was made possible because the last five years have witnessed a massive investment into the technical platforms deployed in the market.
He said that more focus would be on data and overlays as these have dependable revenue streams.
“The approach we have taken is to ensure that we configure our own business and take advantage of these technological changes,” he said.