The rapid growth in its subscriber base and market share has given it a unique position within the SADC region, where, according to global research organisation Frost & Sullivan, no other operator has been able to change its market position over the last year.
At the end of June last year, Telecel Zimbabwe had 260 000 subscribers. By the end of the first quarter of this year the number of Telecel subscribers had shot up to 1 090 000.
While in June last year, it was the smallest of the country’s three mobile phone network operators, in terms of subscribers, it is now the country’s second largest. Its market share has increased to 28 percent.
“No other operator in the SADC region has been able to change its market position over the last 12 months,” Frost & Sullivan’s best practice analysis in respect of Telecel Zimbabwe says.
The Frost & Sullivan Market Penetration Leadership Award is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence in capturing the fastest measured rate of change in market share within its industry.
Frost & Sullivan is a respected global research organisation. Its more than 1 800 analysts and consultants monitor more than 300 industries and 250 000 companies.
Key performance drivers for Telecel Zimbabwe cited in the award analysis include the renewed interest in the company of its foreign shareholder, following the adoption of the United States dollar as the country’s major currency in 2009.
This saw Orascom Telecom, which, through Telecel Globe, has a controlling interest in Telecel Zimbabwe, committing both financial and human resources to it.
Improved financial controls and governance structures were put in place. The marketing mix was critically assessed. Best practices in the company’s commercial and technical operations were implemented.
“A new value and business model has allowed Telecel Zimbabwe to provide a firm platform from which it can continue to challenge its competitors,” the award analysis says.
Promotional campaigns were introduced that sought to provide subscribers with “a compelling value proposition under the leitmotif of democratising telecommunications”.
“Given that poverty levels in Zimbabwe are very high and in the region of 80 percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed, affordability of mobile telecommunications is an important factor in ensuring sustainability of revenues for operators,” the analysis said.
Telecel slashed the price of international calls to a number of countries, including South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, to the same price as local calls, enabling people in Zimbabwe to call friends and family in the diaspora at more affordable rates.