Zimbabwe’s Mobile Internet Data Usage Falls

Zimbabwe’s Mobile Internet Data usage has decreased by 0.18% to record 5.22 million Gigabytes in the first quarter of 2018 from 5.23 million consumed in the last quarter of 2017.

The statistics are part of the 2018 first quota performance report released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) on Monday.

According to the report, mobile internet data usage refers to the amount of internet data consumed by a population through the use of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and other small devices which can access the Internet via 2G/3G/4G and LTE network setup.

During the presentation of the results, the POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Machengete accredited the fall in mobile internet data usage to recent public outcries by mobile network users on the high costs pegged on data bundles by network operators such as Econet, and NetOne.

Dr. Machengete also added that the regulator has moved in to curb the mobile internet data crisis through implementing a new Long Run Incremental Costing model for operators which saw POTRAZ slashing data tariffs by 60% from the recently pegged pricing of 12, 5 cents per megabyte down to 5 cents per megabyte.

The mobile network operators have since then complied to the regulator’s directive through issuing public notices that they have slashed their out of bundle browsing data packages.

On a positive note, Zimbabwe’s international incoming voice traffic increased by 2.4% from 39.7 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 40.6 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018.

This can be accredited to positive responses by the global community to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economy resuscitation strategy ”Zimbabwe Is Open for Business” which has ignited investor interests.

In correspondence to that, Zimbabwe’s international outgoing voice traffic registered a 6% growth from 19.5 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 20.8 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018. This is further accredited to massive engagement by the local business players in their bid to lure foreign direct investment through connecting with global conglomerates.

POTRAZ also recorded that inbound roaming traffic increased by 10% from 1.6 million minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017, to 1.8 million minutes in the first quarter of 2018.

Director General – Dr Gift Machengete said this can be complimented by the increasing number of international visitors thronging Zimbabwe for various purposes such as tourism, exploring business opportunities and also observers in the upcoming elections.

In return, Zimbabwe’s outbound roaming traffic decreased by 8% to record 741,482 minutes in the first quarter of 2018, from 803,117 minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2017.

This can simply be explained by the number of Zimbabweans who have embraced the use of Over The Top (OTT) services like WhatsApp Calling and Skype when making international calls.

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