Potraz hikes tariffs 57%

By Staff reporter | 13 Mar 2020 at 00:01hrs
Potraz
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has with immediate effect approved a 57 percent upward review for voice, data and SMS tariffs to catch up with the "constantly rising operating costs" affecting the telecoms sector.

Potraz said the current prices have become sub economic due to the continual deterioration of the country's economy, hence the increase intends to maintain sustainable operations within the company's telecommunications' business, according to a circular to operators seen by The Herald Finance & Business.

"Tariff thresholds for telecommunication services were last adjusted in October last year using the August 2019 Telecommunication Price Index (TPI) figures.

"The current tariff thresholds have been rendered unsustainable as the operating environment continues to deteriorate due to constantly rising operating costs.

"Accordingly, the authority has found it necessary to review tariff thresholds for telecommunication services by up to 56,64 percent based on the TPI, for the period October to December 2019 that was computed in consultation with operators," said Potraz director general Gift Machengete in a statement released yesterday.

Prices for on net calls per minute, SMS per message and mobile data per megabyte moved up from $0,75, $0,19 and $0,15 to $1,17, $0,30 and $0,23 respectively.

Meanwhile, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ) recently made an average of 20 percent upward review for its SMS and data bundle prices aligning them with the prevailing inflation rate.

Econet Group Media and Corporate Affairs Executive Fungai Mandiveyi confirmed the data bundle and SMS price increment.

"The review is on average, a 20 percent adjustment to try and catch up with inflation and other rising costs – including electricity and diesel and it is well within the authorised threshold."

The new data tariffs, which came into effect on Wednesday, come as a result of the significant weakening of local currency which has lost 93 percent of its value from 1: 2,5 when the interbank rate was introduced in February to the current 1:40.

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