With the Zimbabwe lockdown still in phase 2, Econet wireless Zimbabwe has released its trading update for the 3months period to May. It reported a dip in volumes across it’s operating segments. Zimbabwe’s biggest Mobile Network Operator revealed that data, voice and SMS volumes softened by-15,6%,-5,4% and-6,2% respectively.
Econet said despite the increase in usage of data during the lockdown, the volumes generated could not counter the impact of inflation on real income earned. The company bemoaned regulated tariff increases, which it said continued to lag exchange rate depreciation and inflation. It has reported that over 90% of their staff were telecommuting in April 2020 and that it has adopted a phased approach to reopening.
However, despite this phased approach, over70% of its staff is still working from home while in the future would prefer maintaining that strategy permanently for those functions and activities that can be performed remotely. With the evolving landscape tilting towards digital platforms across several services, Econet remains a market leader in the consumer space given it robust infrastructure and subscribers which could be leveraged for growth.
The strategy to change its operations model to telecommuting will significantly reduce operating costs as it reduces the wage bill and most importantly the work premises rentals.