Zimbabweans will have to pay more for mobile calls after the country’s telecoms regulator, the Postal Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) hiked tariffs by 180%.
The latest adjustment will see on-net calls per minute cost 48 cents (Zimbabwean dollars), up from around 17 cents.
POTRAZ justified the upward tariff adjustment as a way to keep operators viable amid increasing costs of doing business.
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With the high cost of diesel needed to operate base stations, Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators were struggling.
Rolling power cuts have thus resulted in an exponential increase in the cost of doing business.
The last tariff adjustment was in April 2019 which almost doubled call tariffs at the time. POTRAZ cited then;
the introduction of market determined interbank exchange rates as well as cost movements during the year 2018 and fuel price increases in January 2019.
In a circular on Thursday announcing the tariff hike, POTRAZ Director General, Gift Machengete, said that the operating environment has since changed for operators due to inflationary pressures bedevilling the economy. He said,
Year-on-year inflation for the month of June reached a 10-year high of 175.66%.
Accordingly, the Authority has found it necessary review tariff thresholds for telecommunication services.