• Road to riches

    Taxpayers keep funding structures with big plans but who knows what efficacy, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Don't fall for Ponzi scams

    An expert unpacks the tell-tale signs to watch out for.

  • Inside Labour

    A smokescreen of misleading rhetoric won't make SA's problems go away, says Terry Bell.

See More

Econet subscribers reach 8m mark

Jan 14 2013 13:11 *Malcom Sharara

Related Articles

Zim's Econet gets $20m loan

Court sets Econet hearing date

Econet aims to block takeover

Econet buys Burundi cell stake

Altech gets $87.5m from Econet

Econet to bid for Vmobile

Harare - Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile network provider Econet says its subscriber base has now reached 8 million.

The figure is 61.5% of the country’s population of 13 million, according to preliminary results of the 2012 population census released by Zimstat.

However, chances are high that some of the subscribers have more than two lines each as well as lines from other network providers.

In a press release, Econet wireless commercial director George Barbaressos said the key factor in Econet's dominance is investment. “We have spent and continue to spend more money on our network than all our competitors combined.”

Econet has invested a total US$1bn since its founding, with $700m invested in the past three years.

The company also announced that EcoCash customers have crossed 2 million for the first time. EcoCash is a mobile money transfer service similar to Kenya's M-Pesa.

Meanwhile, Econet customers will soon be able to buy the latest generation phones, known as smartphones, and tablets such as i-Pads on 24-month instalments following the creation of a special credit facility at TN Bank, one of Econet's subscribers.
The plan to finance phones on credit is part of the cellphone company's reasons for acquiring TN Bank. The facility at TN Bank is expected to kick off once Econet has completed its acquisition of TN Bank.

To grow its revenues in a maturing voice market, Econet said it needs to convert increasing numbers of its 8 million customers to smartphones and tablet computers which can use high-speed data and internet services.
“Due to liquidity constraints and the ravages of hyperinflation, many Zimbabweans are behind in upgrading their communication devices. This is the reason why Econet has decided to essentially speed up the process,” said the company.

Econet also has products that allow Zimbabweans in South Africa to either call home or transfer funds back to Zimbabwe.
Last year it launched EcoChat in South Africa after engaging with Pattern Matched as its technical partner. The service will allow Econet subscribers living or working in South Africa to chat with friends and family in Zimbabwe using their phones.

 - Fin24

*Malcom Sharara is Fin24's correspondent in Zimbabwe.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

econet  |  zimbabwe


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

People who fall victim to Ponzi scams are:

Previous results · Suggest a vote