Econet sees positive Q3 growth but calls for balanced tariffs

Econet Wireless HQ

HARARE – Econet Wireless Zimbabwe saw an increase in voice and data traffic in the third quarter to November 30, 2023 but a myriad of challenges which include an unbalanced tariff, limited foreign currency access and exchange losses, continue to weigh down financial performance.

In Q3, the group recorded an increase of voice and data traffic of 28% and 26% respectively, which was largely anchored on network modernisation. According to its trading update,  the increased consumption and usage patterns show that ongoing investment in network infrastructure is imperative.

Econet voice market share increased slightly and data market share decreased marginally. Other key metrics such as base station and 4G base station market share continue to improve.

This growth in traffic has been central to the company’s revenue increase, which has seen a staggering 177% rise when adjusted for inflation. The positive revenue growth has been a beacon of hope for the company amidst challenging macro-economic pressures.

The trading update also highlighted the successful settlement of debentures in September 2023, leading to a significant reduction in exchange losses exposure. This has set the stage for improved business performance in the future.

The company’s commitment to network modernisation was reiterated in the update. It outlined plans to transform network performance, expand coverage, and increase capacity to meet the evolving demands of customers for data-intensive applications.

The company extended the geographical coverage of its telecoms network in rural areas thanks to the deployment of ten new base stations.  The infrastructure was commissioned at the end of 2023. It was financed through the Universal Services Fund (USF) chaired by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

The strategic focus on customer-centric solutions, prioritising security, and engaging with regulatory bodies has positioned the company strongly amidst the challenges present in the current economic environment.

Furthermore, Econet has actively developed its network capabilities and invested in securing its services in response to the digital economy’s expansion and the growing need for mobile services. The company’s innovative approach to address power supply challenges through investments in solar solutions and enhanced security systems has been highlighted as a move towards maintaining dependable services and customer satisfaction.

In light of the high inflationary pressures, the company has advocated for balanced regulation to counter rising operational costs while ensuring practical tariffs for consumers. The update stressed the importance of finding a middle ground to make tariffs sustainable for the business without becoming unaffordable for consumers.

The trading update reflects a positive growth trajectory and strategic foresight in navigating the evolving economic landscape. The company’s commitment to modernisation, prioritising customer satisfaction, and advocating for balanced regulation positions it strongly for sustained growth and resilience. – With the Assistance of AI


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