Telecel Ditched By 22,000 Subscribers
30 March 2024
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Telecel’s Substantial Subscriber Loss Amidst Corporate Strife

Harare, Zimbabwe – Telecel Zimbabwe, a major player in the Zimbabwean telecommunications scene, has encountered a significant setback, losing over 22,000 subscribers in the last quarter of 2023. The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) disclosed this alarming drop, marking a challenging period for Telecel amidst ongoing corporate disputes.

Potraz’s report indicated a decline of 7.3% in Telecel’s active subscribers, now numbering 281,332, down from 303,364. This contrasted sharply with the growth seen by competitors, particularly Econet, which continued to dominate the market with a 70% share. The overall sector saw a slight increase in subscribers, underscoring the unique pressures faced by Telecel.

“This decline is a direct reflection of the tumultuous period Telecel has been going through,” said a Potraz spokesperson. “While the sector grows, Telecel’s challenges, including corporate governance issues, have undeniably impacted its market presence.”

Telecel has been under the spotlight since May, following a push by a trade union to have it placed under administration. The company’s chairperson, James Makamba, responded robustly to these challenges, especially to reports suggesting the commencement of corporate rescue proceedings.

Makamba stated, “The reports of our supposed entry into corporate rescue proceedings are not just misleading but outright incorrect. Telecel continues to operate, serving our subscribers and stakeholders with the commitment they expect from us.”

Despite these assurances, the subscriber data from Potraz paints a picture of a company struggling to maintain its foothold in a competitive market. Beyond the subscriber losses, the report highlighted sector-wide issues, including operational costs outpacing revenue growth, with Telecel likely feeling this pressure acutely.

“Telecel’s predicament is reflective of broader economic and operational challenges within the sector,” a telecom analyst commented. “Recovery and growth will require not just stabilizing the corporate structure but also regaining subscriber trust and investing in network improvements.”

As the Zimbabwean telecom sector continues to evolve, with shifts towards dollarization and technological upgrades, Telecel’s path to recovery remains uncertain. Stakeholders are watching closely, hoping for a turnaround that will stabilize the company’s operations and restore its position in the market.