The significant increase in Botswana mobile Internet subscriptions and Internet subscriptions the uptake of mobile broadband is attributable to dual ownership of SIM card by consumers to enjoy different mobile offers by operators, improved affordability due to recent price reductions, reduced movement during lockdowns leading to extensive use of electronic platforms.
Botswana mobile Internet subscriptions and Internet subscriptions recorded an increase of 6.9 % and 0.5 percent respectively while fixed subscriptions increased by 3.4 % in the period under review as the subscribers relay on the use of internet during lockdowns.
The latest Information and Communication Stats Brief Q2 2021 shows that Internet subscriptions grew by 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2021, a publication of Statistics Botswana has reported while Fixed Internet subscriptions increased from 49,757 in Q1 2021 to 51, 466 in the current quarter.
“The total Internet subscriptions (i.e. the mobile Internet and the fixed Internet subscriptions) decreased by 3.2percent in Q2 2021, from 2,323,120 recorded in Q1 2021 to 2,249,137.
Mobile internet subscriptions declined from 2,273, 363 in Q1 2021 to 2,197,671 in Q2 2021, thus registering a decrease of a 3.3 percent,” the report outlines
According to Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni, fixed telephone line subscriptions declined from 139, 930 registered in Q1 2021 to 134,498 in Q2, a decrease of 3.9 percent.
“The subscriptions on mobile cellular telephones on the other hand increased. They rose from a 3,876,773 registered in Q1 2021 to 3,911,833 in Q2 2021, thus increasing by a 0.9percent.
“The Internet subscriptions, as did the fixed telephone subscriptions, decreased in Q2 2021. They went down by a 3.2 percent in Q2 2021, from 2,323,120 in Q12021 to the 2, 249, 137,” said Dr Mguni.
In Q2 2021, fixed telephone to mobile telephone domestic calls traffic went up by 5.7 percent while mobile telephone to fixed telephone domestic calls traffic decreased by 5.3 percent.
“Outgoing international calls from fixed telephones increased by 2.8 percent, while those from mobile telephones went down by 3.6percent,” Dr Mguni noted.
“The contribution of the Postal and Communications Services sector to the economy stood at 2.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product at current prices in Q1 2021. The sector’s value added at the current prices amounted to P1, 275.7 million.”
The growth in the residential subscriptions is attributable to the customers who were working remotely due to extreme social distancing as prescribed by the COVID-19 protocols and as such businesses had to connect their employees for business continuity.
Fixed wireless subscriptions by businesses increased by 32% from 2,500 in June 2019 to 3,292 in June 2020, BOCRA noted.
The number of mobile broadband subscriptions also increased by 16.3 percent (284,812) from 1,752,547 in March 2019 to 2,037,359 in March 2020 with more increase expected beyond 2021.
Post-paid mobile broadband traffic has increased from 1.2 billion Megabytes in March 2016 to 3.3 billion Megabytes in March 2020