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TMCNet:  Research and Markets: In Zimbabwe Hundreds of Thousands of US$ Were Invested Into the Three Mobile Networks in 2009 - Econet, Netone and Telecel Zimbabwe

[January 28, 2010]

Research and Markets: In Zimbabwe Hundreds of Thousands of US$ Were Invested Into the Three Mobile Networks in 2009 - Econet, Netone and Telecel Zimbabwe

Dublin, Jan 26, 2010 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/bb8d96/zimbabwe_telecom) has announced the addition of the "Zimbabwe - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband" report to their offering.


Zimbabwe's economy has contracted for ten years in a row under gross mismanagement by its political leaders, sending annual inflation to an unprecedented rate of several billion percent and the exchange rate of the Zimbabwe Dollar to more than 50 billion per US$, until in early 2009 the government finally gave up and allowed foreign currencies as alternative legal tender, which had already been the inofficial fuel of the local economy for years.

The AcaeEoedollarisation' has done miracles for the country's telecom industry: Network operators, now able to bill their customers in hard currency, have regained a certain degree of planning reliability and access to funding for network expansions. Hundreds of thousands of US$ were invested into the three mobile networks in 2009 - Econet, NetOne and Telecel Zimbabwe. The subscriber base roughly doubled despite the fact that consumer prices initially rose - artificial price caps in local currency had meant that prices had previously been extremely low when converted into hard currencies. As a consequence, the average minutes of use on Zimbabwe's mobile networks were ironically among the highest in the world, and the networks were congested. Prices are now more in line with other African markets again.

The normalisation of Zimbabwe's economy is reflected in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s forecast of continuous GDP growth at 6% p.a. from 2010.

NetOne's parent, TelOne (formerly PTC) still holds a de-facto monopoly on fixed-line services in the country. A second national operator (SNO), TeleAccess was licensed in 2002 but had its licence withdrawn in 2005 due to non-performance resulting from difficulties to raise funding. Another licensed operator, Afritell (a public-private partnership) also failed in bringing competition to the fixed-line sector. However, the government announced in 2009 that it recognises the urgent need for a second operator and that it is looking at ways to resuscitate or retender the licences.

In parallel, the government is planning to privatise up to 60% of TelOne and NetOne, either through an initial public offering (IPO) or a strategic partnership with a foreign investor.

Despite the limited fixed-line infrastructure, Internet usage in Zimbabwe has continued to rise. In an environment of strictly controlled traditional media, citizens turned to the Internet for independent information and communication. However, limitations of international bandwidth for the landlocked country have affected development of the sector. New fibre optic links are now being deployed to improve international connectivity via neighbouring countries with access to international submarine fibre optic cables.

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) market is reasonably competitive with six major players. Eight companies were licensed in 2009 to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony services. Several data carriers have been licensed and are rolling out national fibre backbone networks. ISPs have begun rolling out wireless broadband access networks, and the first 3G mobile broadband service in the country was overwhelmed by demand within weeks of the August 2009 launch.

After ten years in crisis, Zimbabwe's telecoms market has a lot of catching up to do. The boom in all market sectors is expected to continue in 2010.

Key Topics Covered: - Executive summary - Key statistics - Overview of Zimbabwe's telecom market - Sector Reform Policy 1996 - Posts and Telecommunications Act 2000 - Telecom sector liberalisation - Regulatory authority - Interception of Communications Bill - New nationalisation law 2008 - New draft ICT Bill 2009 - International gateways, interconnection - Value-added tax (VAT) - Universal service fund (USF) - Fixed network operators in Zimbabwe - Broadband and Internet market - Overview - Public Internet access locations - Data carriers - Zimbabwe's ISP market - Zimbabwe Internet Exchange (ZINX) - Broadband in Zimbabwe - VoIP telephony - E-Commerce - Mobile communications - Overview of Zimbabwe's mobile market - Major mobile operators - Mobile data services - Third generation (3G) - Satellite mobile - List of Tables and Exhibits Companies Mentioned: - Africa Online Zimbabwe - Africom Zimbabwe - Afritell - Aquiva - Broadlands Networks - ComOne - DataOne, SatNet - Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ) - Ecoweb - MWEB Zimbabwe - NetOne - Powertel Communications - Telco Internet - TeleAccess Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd (defunct) - Telecel Zimbabwe - TelOne - Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/bb8d96/zimbabwe_telecom CONTACT: Laura Wood, Senior Manager, Research and Markets Fax: +1 646 607 1907 (from USA) Fax: +353 1 481 1716 (rest of the world) e-mail: press@researchandmarkets.com ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com.

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