The government’s move to restructure NetOne is paying off, with the latest telecommunication sector quarterly report showing the mobile phone company closing in every day on its main rival.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says NetOne was the only company to register positive revenues, with a market share growth of 4,7%.Its market share increased to 34,7% from 33,8% in the first quarter of 2016.
The Potraz report said NetOne was the only operator to register an increase in active subscriptions, gaining 3,5% to 4 512 359 from 4 360 298 in the first quarter.
Econet had a negative of 0,002% from 6 714 939 to 6 714 832 active subscribers in the first quarter of 2016.
Telecel recorded 1 783 682 active subscribers from 1 824 936, a 2,3% drop.
The company has gone on an aggressive drive around the country launching base stations and increasing awareness.NetOne recently signed an over $400m loan facility with China Eximbank for various projects, among them base stations, equipment and technological innovations.
Acting chief executive officer, Brian Mutandiro, speaking the launch of a new base station in Nyanga recently, was adamant that “revenues will continue to look up, as we are continuing to increase our subscriber base. Investments have assisted in boosting our revenues and this year alone we have registered over a million new subscribers.”
The Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe last week honoured NetOne with the integrated promotional campaign of the year 2016 award for its product One Fusion in addition to three other accolades.
Before the restructuring exercise, Information and Communication Technology and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira had expressed concern over the poor performance of the mobile phone company and urged the board to act.
“As government, we have now invested money into the company and we must see results. We can’t have the same performance. Management must be innovative enough to compete and return a dividend to the government,” he said then.
Several top NetOne executives, including chief executive officer Reward Kangai, are currently on suspension to facilitate investigations into allegations of mismanagement.