Zambian’s adoption of internet based telecommunication services based on social media technology have led to a decline in the use of traditional landline and cellular phone technology.
For some time, traditional landline and cellular technology have come under threat with the surge in internet based communication technology that has been proliferated by companies such as Facebook.
“The total domestic incoming calls in 2018, increased by 25.9 percent to 2.0 billion minutes from 1.6 billion minutes recorded in 2017”, read a statement in the recently published Ministry of Finance Annual Report for 2018 that was presented in Lusaka by the Minister of Finance. “Similarly, outgoing calls increased by 40.2 percent to 14.0 billion minutes from 9.9 billion minutes in 2017.”
The telecommunications industry has been besieged by competitive forces that has seen price wars escalate over the last 2 years. Furthermore, companies in the industry have resorted to innovative ways of keeping customers on their platforms. ”The increases in the domestic traffic could partly be explained by volume-based bundle price promotions”, the statement further explained as to what the potential causes of the reduction.
Blame it on Social Media
There was also a reduction of calls inbound into Zambia. “International incoming calls declined by 39.5 percent to 37.4 billion minutes from 61.8 billion minutes recorded in 2017. Outgoing international calls similarly declined by 7.5 percent to 39.9 billion minutes from 43.2 billion minutes. The decline was partly attributed to the increasing adoption of internet-based applications like WhatsApp, Skype and Viber to make international voice calls. In addition, adverse practices such as SIM boxing, which are least cost routing also explain the decline in international incoming traffic”, read the report from Ministry of Finance.
Internet Use Increases
Increased social media access could only be made possible by increased access to the internet. “During 2018, access to internet services in the country increased to 9.9 million users from 7.8 million, an increase in the penetration rate to 58.4 from 47.3 percent in 2017, according to ZICTA. “This was attributed to increased investment among providers leading to wider coverage and the increased adoption of emerging technologies such as 4G/LTE”.
What is also interesting is ZICTA observing an increase in the roll out of networked devices. “Further, the increased roll out of networked devices such as point of sale machines aided growth in use of mobile internet”. This means that there is a plethora of devices that are now being supported by Zambia’s telecommunication networks. This is evidence of the internet of things taking centre stage as more Zambians adopted connected products for their daily use.