Potraz consults on mobile tariffs hike call

By Staff reporter | 13 Mar 2019 at 22:08hrs
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is looking into the demands of mobile network operators to increase mobile tariffs at the back of the new inter-bank market.

The Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) presented by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr John Mangudya last month, introduced the interbank foreign currency trading system, a departure from the previous 1:1 RTGS dollars rate with the US dollar.  

Banks are already working with the RBZ and the rate on the interbank foreign currency market was at US dollar 1: 2, 5 against the RTGS dollar as at Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the Potraz consumer education and awareness campaign road show at Chinotimba Shopping Centre, Victoria Falls on Sunday, the parastatal's manager of consumer affairs, Mr Phibion Chaibva said Potraz was still conducting stakeholder consultations in response to the mobile network operators' demands to hike their tariffs.

"What I understand on the issue of mobile tariff hikes is that Potraz is still conducting stakeholder consultations to get a better understanding of the matter at hand," he said.

Mr Chaibva said Potraz only supports the mobile network operators' tariff applications on the condition that they are cost based. A cost based pricing method is a fixed sum or a percentage of the total cost added as income or profit to the cost of the product to arrive at its selling price.  

"The reason why we base our decisions on this method is because it is the easiest way to calculate what a product should be priced at, taking into consideration both variable fixed costs and a percentage mark-up," Mr Chaibva said.

Meanwhile, Telecontract's business development manager, Mr Ndabenhle Nkala acknowledged that Zimbabwean mobile network operators are already charging mobile subscribers much more than neighbouring countries.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, last month announced an increase of between 10 and 40 percent increase for roaming, international outbound calling and SMS services.



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