Econet in tariffs slash down


Mr Mboweni

MOBILE telecommunications giant Econet Wireless says it has slashed the cost of calls to other mobile phone operators’ networks by 60 percent in what seems a direct reaction to growing competition. However, Econet Wireless said the tariff markdown, the steepest ever introduced on the domestic market, would be sweet news to cash squeezed subscribers as the service becomes cheaper.

Econet Wireless said the new tariff was “unconditional” and would be “effective immediately on all packages and at all times of the day”.

In a statement, Econet Wireless chief executive officer Mr Douglas Mboweni said that all Econet Wireless customers would now also enjoy Buddie Zone tariffs that can have call discounts of up to 90 percent.

“Econet will mount an extensive campaign to show that it not only has the cheapest tariffs but it also has the best value for money,” said Mr Mboweni.

“Our tariffs are unconditional and we do not ask you to buy something extra or spend so much to get something. When we give, we give. We are not the largest operator by accident,” he added.

He said Econet customers knew that the value they get in terms of coverage, network quality, services, products and tariffs could not be matched.

Mr Mboweni dismissed the notion that Econet Wireless was afraid of competition, especially from Telecel with whom Econet Wireless had a messy public spat leading to the termination of interconnection between them.

“We have the cheapest tariffs and it will remain that way. We have the best coverage and we will continue to broaden it. We also have the largest range of products and services and we will keep investing and introducing more,” the mobile telecoms giant’s CEO said.

Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile telecoms operator had an acrimonious fallout with its fiercest competitor Telecel, the country’s second biggest mobile phone operator, over allegations that the latter had been engaging in unethical business practice.

Apparently, Econet Wireless was peeved when Telecel Zimbabwe slashed tariffs by 50 percent in a bid, ostensibly, to woo subscribers as competition continues to scale new heights in the telecoms sector.

Econet’s reaction to the development was both brutal and ruthless, simply reducing the call completion rate from over 90 percent to, initially, 37 percent, 19 percent, 10 percent and eventually zero percent.

The company claimed that it was obligated to disconnect Telecel because the company did not hold a valid licence after its expiry in June this year. Econet further claimed that Telecel had not been subjected to burdensome financial obligations of renewing the licence as it had, having to make arrangements to pay US$137,5 million for the 20-year licence.

The mobile phone operator only reconnected Telecel after the intervention of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, which had also eventually agreed to renew the firm’s licence.

Government had earlier indicated Telecel’s lopsided shareholding, steeped 60 percent in favour of Egyptian firm Telecel International, was reduced to 40 percent with majority interest going to local shareholders.

Zimbabwe has three significant mobile phone operators with State owned NetOne being the smallest by subscribers of the three operators.

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  • #1subscriber

    kunyepa still charging 25c even eco2eco calls…be honest

  • Pamusoroyi Blaz wa blaz

    Ooohkkk, hold on a second Mukoma Douggie. We know you are very educated and have a fantastic management team capable of amazing innovation. However, i am skeptical of what kind of innovative cost cutting measures you have implemented that allowed such a drastic tarrif reduction without affecting viability. For me, either this is too good to be true and will shortly be reversed once Telecel yabvuma kuti ndimi Madhara, or you have been criminally over-charging to such an extent that you can still make a profit on one third of your old price. If this proves to be the case Blaz, on that very day, you will lose me and my family as your customer. I trust the latter is not the case, as i know you and Bla Strive are God fearing men.

  • Mimi

    Econet’s Strive Masiyiwa should not continue to make money by overcharging loyal Zimbabweans. I have been an Econet customer for so long but now I think it is time to dump this lot. Econet is one company that continues to make millions of dollars when other companies are struggling, hindava iwe Strive, have you not had enough money? Shame on Econet.

  • Eco Chinyi !!

    It clearly shows that Econet is the overcharging culprit.
    The disconnection of Telecel had nothing to do with licencing but unethical business conduct by Econet in face of innovation,and fair charging by competitor.

    I feel Econet you took us your customers for granted and forcing us not to communicate with our friends with Telecel Lines.

    Please what we hear about your morals this and that principles this and that is a lie.
    Any business is a predator full stop.

    I hope you realised your mistake and apologetic.

  • Abemayaung

    Me just like Mimi i have been also a loyal Econet subscriber for quite some time but i am also saddened by the huge tarriffs charged by Econet. I am not against the idea of making money..But lets make money out of reasonable tarriffs..23cents per minute is too too much.

  • truzimbo

    Kwani….the thieving crimials have felt the inch! God fearing my foot!

  • Telecel for life

    If America and Britain imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in order to bring down Cde Mugabe and ZANU PF for implementing policies good for the indigenous black people at the expense of Europeans, and if those sanctions failed to achieve regime change or usher in their preferred pro-capitalist party MDC into power and, if America and Britain then decided to remove the sanctions, would we now say our people must now vote MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai into power. NO NO NO NO. Econet is trying to be smart here. It should never be trusted. Masiiwa has now joined the imperialists and capitalists and this will not change.
    Remember that when things hotted up and inflation began to bite, Econet unilaterally cut off all contract lines overnight and without warning. But Telecel kept theirs open right up to this day. And when Telecel came up with the mega bonus promotions Econet never responded and waited for Telecel to crumble because it was offering bonuses to people. When Telecel did not crumble and actually started to gain marketshare, Econet then came up with its buddie zone which was only available at midnight and sometimes never worked. If you also look at Econet’s policy, its very clear that they do not want competition from anyone and want whoever wants to give people better value for money to get out of business. Econet also does not want other networks to use its Ecocash platform and recently barred Telecel. Econet does not actually care about people, including its customers and workers, its just after money. Ask the workers.
    Just to show how ruthless Econet is and can be, they assumed the role of POTRAZ and cutoff Telecel from its network without any directive from the authorities. This goes to a great extent to show how badly Telecel has become a pain in the neck for Econet.
    All this is meant to starve Telecel of customers. I can assure everyone that as soon as Econet gets its way and Telecel stops giving people those bonuses, Econet will revert to its original tariffs. Mark my words.
    As Zimbabweans we need to send a clear message to Econet that service providers must care for their customers and that we are the biggest stakeholder. There can be no Econet without customers. Whilst we appreciate that Econet has put up fantastic infrastructure to keep Zimbabweans in touch, the company has to limit its appetite for super profits. That can only be achieved if there are other competitors to keep it in check. Vodacom of South Africa did this when MTN entered the market and they paid dearly because MTN is now bigger than Vodacom.
    Therefore it is our duty and in our best interest to ensure the continued survival of competitors like Telecel because without competition companies like Econet will never give us fair deals. If the service and bonuses that Telecel has resulted in it getting more customers and finally caused Econet to revise its mark up, this must be maintained. Customers must continue to give Telecel business. Tisakanganwa chazuro nehope.

  • ngezha

    you are taking for a ride really. am still being charged the same old ridiculous tarriff yet you are claiming kuti you have slashed by almost 2/3

  • Aejaz

    This discount seems effective after “buying” a promotion. But now one call does not last few seconds. U call some one before u can talk a sentence it cuts off as if it’s deliberately designed to do so! So disappointing.