Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
THE postal and telecommunications sector is expected to register exponential growth momentum spurred by increased adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the country as more services move to the digital space.
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) director general, Dr Gift Machengete, said this in a statement accompanying the sector’s Third Quarter 2022 Performance Report, where he noted that huge strides were being anchored by the improved Internet connectivity across the country.
“The sector is expected to grow exponentially with increased adoption of ICTs, operator investment and innovation efforts, as well as the authority’s effort to close the digital divide,” he said.
“The sector has continued to grow as more services move to the digital space, contributing to increased demand and consumption of telecommunication service.
“This growth has been supported by the availability of the internet, which is increasingly becoming more accessible across the country.”
Dr Machengete said there was a huge scope for the postal and courier sector to grow further as the world becomes ever more connected and digitised with modern standards and practices serving as the physical connector of choice for e-commerce.
“This will require greater financial commitment from the Government, more tailored regulations, improved performance by operators, more consumer awareness programmes and greater interoperability with other sectors,” he said.
“The sector will continue enabling other sectors as envisaged in Government’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).”
In line with the drive to attain an upper middle-income status by Vision 2030, Zimbabwe is making strides towards ensuring that its citizens enjoy the benefits of digital economic transformation to alleviate the transacting challenges associated with manual purchases and demand for hard cash.
As such, the Government expects a positive outlook as the ICT sector focuses on innovation, increased collaboration and addressing the issues of the underlying technology gaps, systems up time and most importantly interoperability.
Meanwhile, Dr Machengete said the telecoms sector recorded total mobile operator revenue growth of 103,9 percent to $61,4 billion from $30,1 billion, whilst operating cost grew by 97,1 percent to record $48,6 billion from $24,7 billion in the second quarter.
“Total revenue generated by the postal and courier sector increased by 49,4 percent to record $3,9 billion from $2,6 billion whilst operating costs increased by 40,5 percent to record $2,9 billion from $2,08 billion, he said.
“The increase in operating costs was less than revenue growth, across all markets,” said Dr Machengete.
“As this report has shown, although operating revenue increased in the third quarter of 2022, expenditure also rose across all subsectors.”
Dr Machengete said the prioritisation of the sector in terms of Government expenditure, power availability, protection against vandalism, resource mobilisation, foreign currency availability amongst other issues, remain pertinent.
The report also shows that the country recorded a four percent increase in active mobile subscriptions while internet and data usage increased by 26,1 percent.
On one hand, mobile voice traffic increased by 31,2 percent as postal and courier volumes increased by 4,5 percent during the third quarter of 2022. — @SikhulekelaniM1
Article Source: The Chronicle