Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in Zimbabwe

Compared to the United States, Zimbabwe is massively lagging behind in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +263, there were a total of 14.50 million connections in 2021. Among them were 14.26 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 0.89 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 30,615 webhosts, Zimbabwe is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 1,107 of these, or about 4 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: Zimbabwe

Internet speed for cell phones and fixed network

With an average download speed of 7.8 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, Zimbabwe ranks 162nd in an international comparison. The upload rate was 8.6 Mbit/second (137th place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, Zimbabwe comes 125th with a download speed of 12.52 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 6 Mbit was only enough for 130th place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.

Mobile phone rates in Zimbabwe

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 43.00 was calculated Zimbabwe in 2021. The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in Zimbabwe spends 35.36% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

In 2021, 4G network coverage in Zimbabwe was 39.12 percent of all residents. The 4G network standard includes both LTE and WiMAX.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in Zimbabwe from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in Zimbabwe 2001 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerZimbabwe is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband internet connections. Around 35 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 1 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The increasing prevalence of cell phones and the simultaneous decline in landline phones clearly indicate a change in Zimbabwe. While the number of landlines has fallen significantly in recent years, the spread of cell phones has risen to 89 cell phone subscriptions per 100 people at last count. Such a clear shift does not occur in all countries, but the trend points in the same direction internationally.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021Zimbabwe
Internet users5.57 m34.81 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users205,333.001.28 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines243,421.001.52 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars14.26 m89.15 %361.66 m108.97 %

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