The number of registered cellphone users in the country increased in Q3 2021, according to information and communication technology brief released by Statistics Botswana.
The brief shows that during the period, Pre-paid mobile cellular telephone subscriptions went up by 2.8 percent from 3,766,580 registered in Q2 2021 to 3,873,541. Postpaid mobile cellular telephone subscriptions on the other hand increased by 2.9 percent in Q3 2021, from 145,253 in Q2 2021 to 149,468
In 2020, Botswana’s mobile subscriptions declined for the first time in more than eight years, with the impact of Covid-19 reducing multiple device usage, while companies came through for their employees, resulting in increased internet usage.
The brief shows that the fixed telephone line subscriptions went up by 1.4 percent in Q3 2021, rising from 134,498 which registered in Q2 2021 to 136,356. A further breakdown shows that the Fixed to mobile telephone domestic calls traffic in minutes declined by 3.0 percent in Q3 2021, whilst mobile to fixed telephone domestic calls traffic went down by 3.8 percent. Outgoing international calls traffic from both fixed telephones and mobile telephones decreased in Q3 2021 as well. Outgoing international calls traffic from fixed telephones went down by 7.5 percent, while those from mobile telephones fell by 2.7 percent. The contribution of the ICT sector to the economy stood at 2.7 percent of total GDP at current prices in Q3 2021 while that of Postal and Courier Services amounted to 0.1 percent of total GDP. At constant prices, the ICT sector contributed P1, 130.9 million of value added which is 2.4 percent of total GDP. Postal and Courier Services Sector produced a value added of P43.2 million at constant prices, thus contributing 0.1 percent of total GDP.
The country three operators, Mascom, orange and BTC Mobile, experienced increased data connectivity following the outbreak of Covid19, which offered a silver lining for the telcos. Some measures put in place in 2020 to limit the movement and interaction of people in efforts to curb the spread of the virus resulted in people working from homes thus requiring more than usual usage of internet connectivity.
For the third quarter of 2021, total internet subscriptions (i.e. mobile internet plus fixed internet subscriptions) increased by 8.1 percent in Q3 2021, from 2,288,041 registered in Q2 2021 to 2,472,260. Mobile internet subscriptions went up, registering an increase of 8.1 percent; from 2,197,671 subscriptions in Q2 2021 to 2,374,865 in Q3 2021. Fixed internet subscriptions also increased in Q3 2021, from 82,946 in Q2 2021 to 97,395.