The number of active Telecel Zimbabwe subscribers has now topped two million, an increase of half-a-million since the end of December 2011
Telecel Zimbabwe chief commercial officer Ashraf Elguindy announced the milestone at Telecel’s Corporate Golf Day at Chapman Golf Club in Harare recently.
Last month former Telecel chief executive John Swaim predicted that the number of subscribers, which stood at 1 800 000 at the end of March, would reach two million in July.
At the presentation, Telecel management highlighted the role played by its introduction of low-cost data bundles and service rates.
Customers are charged $2,50 for 55 megabytes, $22,50 for 550 megabytes, $42,50 for 1 250 megabytes and $75 for three gigabytes, which works out at two-and-a-half cents per megabyte.
This was not only the best value offered by any mobile network but was probably the lowest data service rates offered anywhere in Zimbabwe, Elguindy said.
He also referred to Telecel’s introduction of Tele-Tunes, a service that allows subscribers to substitute a tune or song of their choice for the ringing tone that callers hear when they phone them. Telecel was the first local company to introduce this service that has proved popular elsewhere.
Other products mentioned included Telecel’s Mega Juice Card. This solution offers subscribers a 100 percent bonus on recharge with the one dollar card for calls to any Telecel customer, as well as the 50 cents emergency credit for regular subscribers who run out of airtime, but still need to make a call.
“The last two years or so have been an exciting period for Telecel. We have led the way within the mobile telecommunications sector in reducing costs and making mobile communications affordable for everyone,” Elguindy continued.
He added that Telecel continued to expand its network and install new base stations both to extend its reach geographically and to increase the capacity of areas where the network was well established and where the demand for Telecel’s services, both voice and data, continued to grow.
“We have also been able to benefit from being part of the Orascom Telecom group and from Orascom’s new status as a subsidiary of an even larger telecommunications group, VimpelCom,” he said.
VimpelCom is the sixth largest telecommunications operator in the world.
Among the benefits for Telecel subscribers he mentioned the partnership between VimpelCom and Opera Software to make Opera Mini available as a browser even to those with low cost handsets and the partnership between VimpelCom and Google to give subscribers access later in the year to Google Play products.
He said the appointment of Mr Francis Mawindi was expected to benefit Telecel greatly, given his extensive experience in telecommunications in the Americas, where he had been the France Telecom Orange head of business operations for global services in both north America and Latin America.