By Alois Vinga
TELECEL Zimbabwe’s subscriber base has dwindled 5 %, a Postal Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) sector performance released Friday showed.
The revelations come amid allegations that the company’s chief executive officer Angeline Vere is failing to set a recovery trajectory.
Presenting the findings, POTRAZ director general, Gift Machengete said the mobile operator subscriber base declined significantly.
“Telecel’s subscribers went down from 1.080. 606 to 1.027.445 registering a 4.9 % decline in the second quarter of 2019 at a time when Econet and NetOne subscriber bases grew 1.3% and 6.1% respectively. Telecel was the only mobile operator to record a decline in active subscriptions,” said Machengete.
It is believed that the Telecel board is unhappy with Vere’s performance especially her failure to put together a recovery plan to salvage the nation’s third largest mobile operator after years of below par performance.
Sector industry statistics show Telecel’s subscriber base dipped 12,3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 whereas its competitors Econet and NetOne recorded gains of 1,9% and 5.2% respectively.
Under her watch, the company’s management was alleged to have given its workers a salary increment without full board approval.
Telecel also allegedly made a re-authorisation for annual service level agreement with its key vendors such as ZTE, Huawei and Obopay to the tune of nearly US$1m without following proper procedures.
However , the company’s management has in the past attributed the poor performance to lack of capitalisation.
Meanwhile , the report said there was a marginal decline of 0.1% in active fixed telephone lines , a decline in fixed voice traffic of 6 % , significant growth in fixed telephone revenue.
An increase of 45 % in fixed telephone operating costs from $41.4 million to $60 million, an increase in active mobile subscriptions of 1.8%, a decline of 1.1% in mobile voice traffic.
“There was a substantial decline in mobile internet data usage of 8.2% , marked growth in mobile network revenues by 50.1%, against a 26 % growth in operating costs to record $233.7 million from $185.9 million,” the report said in part.