Zimbabwean mobile network operators (MNOs) are on a collision course with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) over the pricing of mobile tariffs.
A circular sent to MNOs by POTRAZ stated that the latter proposed to leave the tariffs unchanged.
An insider within the telecoms industry who spoke to Daily News said:
The problem is that the approved current tariff is in US dollars, but the regulator has so far not allowed the operators to charge customers in USD or the RTGS equivalent.
How the regulator expects the industry players, whose USD debt and high forex capex costs are well documented defies logic.
The expectation was that short of authorising the operators to charge in USD, Potraz would propose an RTGS tariff that takes into account the new exchange rate.
The operators would then be allowed to determine the effective tariff or charge, within a certain range based on factors such as the elasticity of demand and so forth.
Since the new Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) was announced by Central Bank governor John Mangudya on February 20, 2019, operators have been pushing Potraz to review the call charges upwards.
Mangudya announced the devaluation of the local currency from a fixed USD 1:1 RTGS dollar to a floated interbank rate of USD 1:2.9 RTGS dollars at present.