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 Thursday, May 12, 2011

­Mobile subscriber numbers in Zimbabwe trebled from early 2009 to mid-2010, whereas fixed line subscriptions remained stagnant. With demand for voice services increasingly met, future growth is predicted to occur around mobile Internet and broadband provision. Both mobile operators and Internet access providers will benefit from this second wave of growth. However, increasing political instability in the run-up to elections expected to be held in 18 to 24 months and a business environment not always conducive to proper process are expected to have a negative impact on market prospects.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the Zimbabwean mobile communications market earned revenues of $372.2 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach $1,343.7 million in 2016. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 20.1 per cent, considerably lower than the phenomenal 40.6 per cent revenue growth experienced from 2008 to 2009. However, declining growth rates are expected when markets become increasingly saturated.

"Mobile operators are the largest contributors to telecommunications revenues in Zimbabwe," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT Industry Analyst Protea Hirschel. "As 3G networks expand, mobile operators compete more directly with Internet access providers. These, in turn, have entered the voice market, adding to competition."

Unfulfilled demand, initially for voice and increasingly for data services, is one of the main drivers of growth for mobile communications. Fixed lines are unlikely to meet this demand in Zimbabwe.

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Source: Cellular News