Zimbabwe’s mobile internet and data usage increased by 18.4% to 113,857 terabytes in 2022 from 96,194 terabytes in 2021, according to the latest Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) annual report.
With the increased scheduled blackouts, or load shedding, across the country for as long as 18 hours per day at a time, experts warned that the country’s internet usage may decrease this year.
When load shedding happens, many fibre users lose their network.
This is because when the electricity comes back, too many users try to reconnect at the same time.
This causes a significant delay because the systems that control the network become overwhelmed.
However, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet, connect with friends and family on social media and even conduct business online.
“Used incoming international Internet bandwidth capacity also increased by 39.5% to record 272,340Mbps as of 31 December 2022, from 195,158Mbps as of 31 December 2021,” POTRAZ stated.
“Used outgoing international Internet bandwidth capacity also increased by 64.9% to record 89,790Mbps as of 31 December 2022, from 54,464Mbps recorded as of 31 December 2021, signalling an increase in consumption of local online content.”
As mobile internet usage grew in popularity, so did the demand for faster speeds and more reliable connections.
Telecommunications companies responded by investing in infrastructure upgrades and expanding their networks to reach more people across the country.
Today, Zimbabweans are among the most active users of mobile internet in Africa. According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, nearly 13 million people in Zimbabwe use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter on their mobile devices.
This increased connectivity has had a profound impact on many aspects of life in Zimbabwe. For example, it has made it easier for people to access education and job opportunities online. It has also allowed businesses to reach new customers through digital marketing campaigns.
Despite these positive developments, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. For example, many rural areas still lack access to reliable internet connections due to limited infrastructure. Additionally, some people struggle with high data costs, which can make it difficult to stay connected.
Overall, though, Zimbabwe’s mobile internet revolution has brought about many positive changes that have helped improve people’s lives in countless ways. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it will be interesting to see how this trend continues to shape the country’s future – Harare