HomeBusinessTelecel launches ‘keep your digits’ promotion

Telecel launches ‘keep your digits’ promotion

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THE battle to win over subscribers from rival operators in a saturated Zimbabwean mobile telecoms market is heating up as Telecel entices users with a phone number promotion.

Telecel Zimbabwe, the second largest telco in the country, is offering subscribers a chance to move over to its network, but keep the last six digits of their previous phone numbers.

Zimbabwe has 11 million mobile network subscribers in a country which has a population of about 12 million people.

Econet is the largest player, with over nine million subscribers while Telecel and state-run NetOne have around 2,5 million each.

Telecel Zimbabwe, a local unit of Russian telecommunications group, VimpelCom, said yesterday that the number matching initiative was being introduced under its switchover campaign, which targets winning over subscribers from its competitors.

It is also incentivising subscribers staying on its network with free talk time, data and text messages for the next half year.

“We have introduced the number matching initiative to make it convenient for subscribers from other networks who wish move to Telecel to retain their last six digits from their current line when they join us,” Clever Isaya, the head of marketing at Telecel Zimbabwe said.

Although Telecel has initiated the mobile number matching programme, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has not yet approved number portability in the country.

Executives at Potraz were not immediately reachable for comment on Thursday, but sources at the telecommunications industry watchdog told Fin24 that the issue is still under consideration and there have been discussions with operators requesting to switch over to mobile number portability.

Isaya said the mobile number matching campaign was “an answer to requests from potential customers who would like to move over to our network but are worried about losing the identity that comes with the mobile number” they have become accustomed to having.

Zimbabwean mobile subscribers have been requesting Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which enables them to retain their full mobile numbers when changing from one network to another.

Telecel’s number matching initiative does point in the right . . . although full MHP is yet to be introduced into the country by the regulating authority,” he added.

Other programmes that Zimbabwean telcos have introduced this year to grow their subscriber base include promotions and tariff cuts.

Econet Wireless is offering free Twitter access for its subscribers as mobile companies focus more on data services to provide cover for declining revenues from the voice category.

— Fin24

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