Econet slashes tariffs

Mobile network operators have been called upon to reduce broadband charges

The country’s largest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless has slashed tariffs by more than 30 percent in line with a Government directive which came into effect on January 1, 2015 in spite of its earlier objection to the move.The Government, through the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), directed that all mobile phone operators lower their charges after it adopted a new costing model.

Potraz directed that operators should not charge more than 15 cents per minute for voice calls, down from 23 cents,  and from 8 cents to 5 cents for SMSs.

While the other two mobile operators, Telecel and Net One had immediately agreed to comply with the directive to cut their charges, Econet had resisted and took the matter to the courts.

But in a change of heart, the firm, advised its over eight million subscribers in a message that: “Please note that tariffs have been reduced to 15 cents per minute for Econet to Econet calls and 16 cents per minute to local networks effective 1 January 2015.”

But in what appeared to be some retaliation against the Potraz directive, Econet also immediately announced that it had scratched its long running “Bundles of Joy Promotion” effective January 1.

The “Bundles of Joy Promotion” allowed subscribers to enjoy more than double talk time after recharging.

Potraz has said it expects tariffs to further come down to about 12 cents per minute later this year and to about nine cents in 2016.

The slash in call charges followed complains from the public that the country’s networks were overcharging them especially when comparing with other countries in the region. — New Ziana.


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