Data subscriptions spur Econet through COVID- 19

By Staff Reporter
LEADING mobile telecommunications giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has posted an increase of 63% for data consumption compared to the prior year, according to the firms’ trading update for the second quarter and half-year period ending.
Voice traffic increased by 7.9 percent (%), while SMS traffic was up 41.6% compared to the previous half-year period.
As the COVID- 19 pandemic’s negative effects kicked-in, business operations across the divide was affected, as business was mainly being conducted virtually, as physical distancing and other regulations to curb the COVID- 19 pandemic were strictly monitored by authorities.
From a sectorial perspective, on the period under review, Econet topped on mobile subscriptions with 68.5%, NetOne 25.8% and Telecel 5.7%, respectively.
Voice traffic saw Econet registering 82% followed by NetOne with 15% and Telecel 1.5%.
Data Traffic it was Econet on top again with 60.8%, NetOne 38.1% and Telecel registering 1,1%, respectively.
However, mobile subscriptions for the three players combined recorded a -6.7%, with Data subscriptions decreased by -4%, compared to the same period last year.
Mobile data traffic grew by 57.2%, while mobile voice decreased by -1.2% compared to the same period last year.
However, despite a drop in the mobile voice calls, data and mobile subscriptions, the industry’s revenue shot up by 45.8%.
Econet products and services became critical in providing the much-needed connectivity, as customers observed physical distancing protocols required under the prevailing COVID- 19 environment.
However, income was generally affected due to the lockdown, as most business activities were curtailed to stem the spread of the pandemic.
During the course of the period under review, the telecommunications giant implemented an aggressive cost reduction strategy, which required all suppliers to reduce costs by 20%.
Operation margins of the company remain positive at about 40% earnings Before Interest Depreciation Tax and Amortization (EBITDA).
Econet also noted that the drive towards revenue sustainability, whilst managing costs have allowed the business to remain cash-flow positive.
However, the operating environment remains volatile and uncertain. The ‘new normal’ post the COVID- 19 induced lockdown has created new opportunities, such introduction and use of new technologies to deliver digital solutions for customers.

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