30% of SIMs to be disconnected as mobile user registration completed

14 Apr 2011

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has completed compiling a register of all mobile phone users in the country, state-run newspaper The Herald writes. The confidential database was completed following the regulator’s order last year for all cellular network users to register their personal details or be disconnected in the interests of curbing criminal activity. The registration deadline was 28 February 2011. The report says that by that date, state-owned cellco NetOne had registered 90% of its subscribers, whilst rival Telecel Zimbabwe had registered 80%, but market leader Econet Wireless only 60%. With Econet controlling over 60% of the wireless market, the reported figures give a combined average of around 70% registration, indicating that around 30% of the country’s approximately nine million activated mobile SIM cards will now be disconnected, leaving a market of an estimated 6.3 million subscribers, or roughly 54% of the population.