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Postal mail volumes declined by 32% in 2018 - BOCRA

Publishing Date : 12 August, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority BOCRA indicated that in 2018, the commercial postal market recorded a total mail volume of 867 566 postal items compared to 1 279 093 postal items registered during the 2016/17 financial year.


This reflected a significant decline of 32.2% in mail volumes from the previous financial year. The decline in mail volumes has been associated with diversion to electronic communication by the public at large as well as private and public institutions. Some commercial postal operators and even the public postal operator indicated that the decline in mail volume was due largely to electronic subscription. They indicated that institutions such as banks and insurance companies shifted to communicate with their customers electronically rather than by physical mail.


The commercial postal market shares as measured by mail volumes for both domestic and international mail indicates that as of March 2018, Sprint Couriers was the market leader with 49.8% of the market share, which represented a 9.12% growth from the 40.75% recorded in the previous year. DHL International Botswana was the second leading company with 12.83% followed by Botswana Couriers and Logistics with 10.19% respectively.


Botswana Post with 8.24% and FedEx Express Botswana in fifth spot with 4.19%. At the bottom of the pyramid, seven companies registered a very low market share, each accounting for less than 1.00% of the market share. First Connections Couriers and S. Couriers had the smallest market share, accounting for 0.2% and 0.7% respectively.


The postal market recorded a total of 13 668 791 postal items as of March 2018. Ordinary mail was the main focus for the postal market accounting for 94% of the total mail volume in Botswana, while value-added or express mail services accounted for 6% of the total mail volume. Moreover, the sector recorded more domestic express mail volumes of 617 301 postal items compared to international express mail volumes which registered 250 265 postal items.


Meanwhile, mobile subscriptions registered a decline of 1.4% from 3, 226 389 in the previous year to 3,181 591 in 2018. Mobile tele density declined from 159% in March 2017 to 157% as at March 2018. The decrease in active mobile subscriptions in the review period was attributed mainly to a high churn rate experienced during the festive season of 2017 by the three operators which had not been fully recovered until March 2018.


The market share measured by the number of active mobile subscriptions is as follows: Mascom Wireless continues to be the leader at 53% followed by Orange at 31% and BTC Mobile at 16%. In the previous year, Mascom had market share of 55% followed by Orange with 30% and BTC with 15%.


The number of mobile subscriptions grew by 85% from 1.874 101 in March 2009, to 3,460 331 in March 2016. Uptake of subscriptions then declined by 7% in March 2017 and further declined in March 2018. PTOs explain the decline as natural churn as market reaches maturity. It is expected that uptake of subscriptions would lessen in future, unless there is a strategic intervention by the industry aimed at increasing demand for new subscriptions. Such interventions may involve introduction of totally new and innovative products that address as unserved market need.

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