Zim mobile network firms set to review data bundle prices

20 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Zim mobile network firms set to review data bundle prices

eBusiness Weekly

Business Reporter

Zimbabwe’s mobile telecommunication companies are this week set to increase data bundles by an average of 30 percent to cater for rising operating costs.

This is the second time in two months that the sector is adjusting its tariffs after it was given the go ahead by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to review headline tariffs in September.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest mobile network operator, told its customers that it will be reviewing its tariffs on Thursday, while NetOne increased its tariffs on Tuesday amid indications that Telecel, the country’s third mobile operator, is expected to follow suit any time this week.

“Dear customers, please note, we will review our voice, data and SMS bundle prices effective Thursday 21 October 2021,” said Econet.

The telecoms industry has been experiencing rising operating costs in the past few years as a result of high fuel prices, Staff costs, depreciation, and bandwidth costs among other things.

According to the Potraz Second Quarter review, the sector’s operating costs surged by 15,8 percent to $8.9 billion in the second quarter of 2021, up from $7,6 billion in the first quarter.

The report indicated that Econet’s operating costs increased by 16,2 percent, from $5,6 billion to $6,6 billion, while NetOne and Telecel operating costs surged by 10,2 percent and 42,1 percent respectively.

Potraz, the industry regulator which approved the latest hike in data bundle prices, recently indicated that it was imperative for the telecoms industry to charge competitive tariffs and recoup their costs.

“The shift to the auction based foreign currency market system seemingly eased inflationary pressures, but did not eliminate them completely as prices for goods and services, including fuel and energy, continued to be adjusted in line with the dynamics of the new exchange rate regime,” read part of the report.

“Notwithstanding the above, foreign currency shortages continued to bedevil the economy at large, with implications on network expansion, upgrade and maintenance, taking a toll on quality of service as demand for data surged for operators. Foreign currency constraints also affected universal service projects targeted for rural and underserved areas.”

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