Internet Subscriptions Grow

  • Total subscriptions up by 6.7% in Q1 2021
  • BOCRA attributes growth to COVID-19


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.

Mobile Internet subscriptions and Internet subscriptions also recorded increases of 6.9 percent and 0.5 percent respectively while fixed subscriptions increased by 3.4 percent in the period under review.

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 3.2 percent 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,” says the report

According to Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni, fixed telephone line subscriptions declined from139, 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 Q1 2021 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.”

Meanwhile, the 2020 annual report of Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) indicated a significant growth in Internet subscriptions (Broadband Facts and Figures).

“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,” the report said.

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.

“ The significant increase in the uptake of mobile broadband is attributable to several reasons, including ownership of more than one SIM card by consumers to enjoy different mobile offers by operators, improved affordability due to recent price reductions, reduced movement during extreme social distancing leading to extensive use of electronic platforms to apply for permits,” said BOCRA.

Post-paid mobile broadband traffic has increased from 1.2 billion Megabytes in March 2016 to 3.3 billion Megabytes in March 2020