NetOne seeks to reclaim market share

By Staff reporter | 19 Sep 2019 at 17:23hrs
STATE-OWNED mobile network operator NetOne says it is planning to reclaim its market share by improving its product offering.

This was after the company, together with Telecel Zimbabwe, experienced a decline in market share to 25,2 percent last year from 35,2 percent in 2017, according to figures released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje said this year has seen the resurgence of Zimbabwe's second largest mobile giant, with the unveiling of a host of new packages, including opening a bureau de change, in a bold bid to attract subscribers back to the network.

"NetOne is currently on its way back to reclaim its rightful title as the network of choice for all Zimbabweans," he said.

"The recent months have seen subscribers coming back as a result of the quality network for calls and data as well as quality distribution of products and services across the nation.

As NetOne, we believe in creating value for our clients and the testing of the ‘Out of Bundle Browsing' option is meant to ensure that our clients are able to manage their airtime, whilst enjoying their favourite products and services."

Muchenje noted that NetOne was focusing more on data bundles following a shift in subscriber taste from traditional forms of communication — telephone calls — to over the top services accessible through the use of data.

This comes as subscribers have become more dependent on data as a means through which they can access the different communication channels.

The mobile network operator recently launched an out of bundle browsing data option at a time when the market has seen increases in tariffs from all mobile operators in Zimbabwe.

In addition, NetOne also introduced a night bundle, which allows customers to subscribe for discounted data between 2200hrs and 0500hrs the following morning, Khuluma 24/7, a voice bundle that permits calls to all networks, and social media bundles for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NetOne, which is set to be disposed of together with TelOne for about US$300 million, recently posted a $10 million profit for the first time in decades.

Muchenje said the turnaround in profitability was achieved on the back of cost containment initiatives.

"These comprised enhanced efficiency and cost discipline as evidenced by the 21 percent decrease in the overheads margin, to end the year at 48 percent against 69 percent for prior year," he said recently.

"As a company, we made the conscious decision to adopt a ‘Back to Basics' approach on four key strategic pillars, namely quality network, quality distribution, a quality contact centre and a quality balance sheet," he said.      

The mobile network operator data contribution to revenue also increased from 26 percent to 37 percent "indicative of shifting customer needs and preferences".