Econet Zimbabwe has notified its customers of its plants to hike data and SMS bundle tariffs on Friday 9 August 2019. This follows a similar move by State-owned mobile network operator (MNO) NetOne.
A message sent to customers by the mobile giant read:
Dear customer. Please take note bundle prices for data & SMS will be reviewed Effective 9 August 2019.
MNOs’ operations have been negatively impacted by the 18-hour daily power cuts as they have to use diesel generators for their base stations.
Econet recently experienced a huge network blackout lasting several hours after a power cut disrupted its network centre. It subsequently released a statement which read in part:
… Econet would like to point out that the company cannot sustain the current operating conditions of running back-up generators for 14 to 18 hours daily, based on the current heavily eroded tariffs.
We are also now incurring higher costs because of the heavy reliance on generators as we now have to service the generators every fortnight, as opposed to the scheduled quarterly service intervals.
… Given the foregoing, we have stepped up our engagement with the relevant stakeholders with a view to finding an urgent solution to the problem that Econet and the mobile telecommunications industry faces due to the national power crisis.
If the authorities that oversee the industry do not offer quick viable solutions as required in the current crisis, the business will have no choice but to take drastic measures to ensure sustainable service.