Telecommunications in Zimbabwe

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Communications in Zimbabwe refers to the communication services available in Zimbabwe.


Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) was established by the Postal and Telecommunications Act in 2000 and started its operations in March 2001. This legislation brought about a new institutional framework for telecommunications in Zimbabwe.

Telephone system[edit]

The phone system was once one of the best in Africa, but now suffers from poor maintenance; more than 100,000 outstanding requests for connection despite an equally large number of installed but unused main lines.

Main lines in use: 356,000 (2011)

The domestic system consists of microwave radio relay links, open-wire lines, radiotelephone communication stations, fixed wireless local loop installations, and a substantial mobile cellular network; Internet connection is available in most major towns that includes Harare, Gweru Bulawayo, Mutare through fiber optic and other remote parts through satellite communication

International: country code - 263; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat; two international digital gateway exchanges (in Harare and Gweru) (2010)

Mobile cellular: 9.2 million (2011)


There is a total of 16 radio stations that broadcast locally, 6 broadcast nationally, the other 10 broadcast provincially and are located in the country's major cities. The national broadcaster owns 4 national and 2 provincial radio stations.

Two independent stations, ZiFM Stereo and Star FM were launched in 2012 and both broadcast nationally. 2016 saw the launch of 8 regional, private owned radio stations and in 2018, ZBC launched 2 more provincial stations, Khulumani FM in Bulawayo and 95.8 Central Radio in Gweru.

As of 2013, Zimbabwean authorities have required all radio owners to obtain a "listening licence" from the state.



There is 1 state-controlled television station, ZBC TV. The government has shut down and refuses to issue licenses to domestic independent broadcasters such as JoyTV in 2002. However satellite TV providers including DStv are available. In 2013, Zimbabwe saw the introduction of its first pay TV. In 2017, Kwesé TV a subsidiary of Econet Global which was founded by Zimbabwean entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa has been delayed license to operate in Zimbabwe by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) .

Market structure mobile[edit]

There are three GSM mobile network operators, namely Econet, Net One and Telecel. The current subscriber base in June 2011 to these three mobile operators were 5,521,000 people for Econet, 1,297,000 for Net One, and 1,349,000 for Telecel. All of these operators are 100 percent digitalized and offer 2G, GPRS, EDGE, 3G and 4G LTE services.


Internet hosts: 30,615 (2012)

In 2009, there were 1.423 million internet users. In June 2004, Mugabe asked ISPs to monitor all email traffic passing through their systems for "anti-national activities". ISPs protest that this is an impossible task.[2]

Country code (Top level domain): .zw

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hungwe, Brian (26 March 2013). "Why are Zimbabwe police seizing radios?". BBC News. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Mugabe introduces new curbs on internet", The Guardian, 3 June 2004.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website


External links[edit]