Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE largest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless, says it has paid $1.3 billion to Government in taxes since 2009 and created over 60 000 jobs directly and indirectly in the economy through various investments.
The country adopted a multi-currency system in February 2009 to tame inflation that had reached unprecedented levels.
“$1.3 billion has been paid to Government since 2009 while over 60 000 jobs have been created directly and indirectly,” said the telecommunications firm on its website.
As a market leader across all product segments, Econet said it was commanding 78 percent revenue market share, 80 percent voice tariff market share, 75 percent data traffic market share and 98 percent EcoCash subscriber market share.
In September 2011, Econet was the first company in the country to launch EcoCash, a mobile money transfer service.
To date, $23 billion worth of transactions have been facilitated through EcoCash.
In light of the cash crisis prevailing in the country, the monetary authorities have encouraged the transacting public to make use of electronic payment platforms such as mobile money transfer services as well as the use of plastic money. Econet has over the years been involved in a number of infrastructure development projects. The telecommunication firm announced a major data network upgrade that was expected to see the mobile network market leader achieving 100 percent 3G coverage across Zimbabwe by end of last year.
In the financial year ended February 28, 2017, Econet’s mobile network operation business segment, which largely comprises data and voice revenues, contributed about 60 percent of the company’s business.
It noted that while voice revenue in the telecommunications industry has continued to decline as consumers switch to data applications for communication, its position in the market remained strong. The company also runs banking services through Steward Bank and recently ventured into satelite television.
During the period under review, the firm’s revenue declined by three percent to $621.7 million. Econet’s capital expenditure to revenue ratio declined by five percent while generally capital expenditure to revenue ration in the telecommunication sector is above 10 percent.