Zimbabwe’s Best Mobile Network Operator in 2017


Ever been in that situation where you need to make a phone call or send a text only to look down at the number of bars of reception you have and then think ahh… There are a few things one might want to keep in mind when selecting a cell phone provider.

Some notable considerations are the cost of calls, text messages and data plans. You should also consider network coverage and a few other factors. In Zimbabwe, we have three major Mobile Network Operators Econet, Netone and Telecel.


Each and every MNO has its own advantages and disadvantages. We are just going to focus on three aspects: Cost, Coverage and Reliability.

Cost: Since many of us live our day-to-day lives on a budget (sometimes a tight one), you have to consider the overall amount of money you are going to spend on your phone.

This is one biggest factor subscribers always consider when choosing an MNO, Netone has been improving and improving the cost of its service of late last year, 2017, the company totalled 4,957,105 active subscribers from 4,712,410 of 2016.

There was a shift in pricing from Netone by introducing the OneFusion promotion on which many subscribers enjoyed using the service in the year under review. Econet also experienced a growth in its subscriber base with a growth of 17% from last year amounting to 7,488,588 Active Subscribers.

Telecel is still facing hard times to get subscriber market share, the tell someone network lost 8.8% of its active subscribers to 1,646,411 from 1,805,612 of 2016.

An Active Mobile Subscriber is a mobile line that has been used to make or receive a call, send or receive a message and/or used the internet at least once in the last 90 days.

Image: Potraz Annual Sector Performance Report 2017

Reliability: It is one of the essential things one would want to look at especially choosing an MNO depending on your area of operation or residence, you need to know the efficiency of the service providers in a lot of terms.

The Network’s Strength, how the operator interacts with its subscribers, is the network always up, how they attend to service failures and how long they take to resolve technical issues.

Coverage:  In 2017, all Mobile Networks in the country improved their base station coverage and there was a newcomer Telecel which gained a 1% market share in the LTE Mobile Base Station.

 As it was reported by Potraz, Econet scored the biggest network coverage in all network types in 2017. i.e. 2G,3G and LTE/4G. Followed by Netone the Telecel.

A potential subscriber has to look at the 4G LTE network that the MNO offers. 4G LTE networks are a big deal nowadays and are something to be taken into serious consideration when choosing a Mobile Network Operator.

Image: Market share of mobile base stations Potraz

There also other services that need to be considered when choosing an MNO like Data, Voice charges, Signal Strength and how its Mobile Money service integrates with the bank you use.


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