Zimbabwe’s state-owned mobile network operator NetOne says it will direct its focus towards data and financial services, media and entertainment in order to narrow the liquidity gap.
The company’s marketing, public relations and customer experience executive Eldrette Shereni said NetOne made a decision to revert back to the basics of telecoms for organic growth.
Shereni added that mobile data would be a significant contributor to the company’s revenue generation and a key driver in their service provision. “Consolidation of data services provides a stage for the provision of ethical content to entertain our customers.”
The company has also removed transaction fees (except for the statutory 2% tax) on its mobile platform until 31 December 2019.
NetOne’s’ chief executive officer Lazarus Muchenje said, “We’ve introduced zero-rated transactions on all OneMoney transactions except the statutory 2% tax and card swiping charges. This means that when you send money, there are no fees … when you receive money there are no fees, when you purchase airtime, there are no fees, when you cash-out, there are no fees and when you buy at the shop using the merchant code, there’s no fees.”
He added that the move is more about supporting Zimbabweans at a critical time than it is about leapfrogging the competition. However, Muchenje is on record as having said OneMoney has a target to overtake EcoCash in the two years’ time.
Local ICT expert Shingai Ndoro said, “NetOne is a business entity owned by the taxpayers. It should generate revenue to support itself profitably and earn its owners, the people of Zimbabwe, dividends by paying to the fiscus. Now with this action, who will pay for the transaction costs?”
According to a report by industry regulator Potraz, NetOne’s active subscribers increased by 6,1%, while its market share also grew from 21,4% to 22,3%, with internet and data usage increasing by 0,8%.
OneMoney’s market share grew to 7,3% in the second quarter of 2019.