beMOBILE eyes 30% market share through MNP

The country’s smallest and youngest wireless phone company beMOBILE, says the upcoming introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) could boost its market share as high as 30%, snatching away customers from rivals, Mascom and Orange.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), beMOBILE entered the mobile phone market in 2008, 10 years after Mascom and Orange.  At the last count, beMOBILE had a market share of 16%, compared to Mascom’s 53% and Orange’s 31%. Transport and Communications Minister, Dorcas Makgato told Parliament last week that her Ministry intends to implement MNP through the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) in the next financial year beginning on April 1, 2019.  MNP allows mobile phone subscribers to change network providers without changing their numbers.

BTCL managing director, Anthony Masunga expressed confidence that MNP would be a game changer for beMOBILE’s position in the market. “We believe if MNP were introduced, we would see a major shift and we have information on the ground to support that,” Masunga told BusinessWeek. “Customers are saying they have had the same number since 1998 and while beMOBILE’s offers are good, their cellphone numbers are their businesses.

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