The Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has warned mobile network operators (MNOs) against increasing tariffs without its approval.
POTRAZ Director General Gift Machengete told TechnoMag in an interview on Monday that raising tariffs without the Authority is against the telecommunications law and will attract a heavy penalty.
Responding to recent reports that one of the leading MNOs, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, is set to increase data and SMS bundle tariffs on February 4, Machengete said:
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We have not authorized any tariff increase, If at all they are increasing above their threshold, we will penalize them for such a move.
… there are no negotiations towards Tariff increases so far, We have requested the mobile networks to submit information pertaining their costs, so that we can feed the information into the TPI, which then informs us if there is any need for tariff increase, so that our decisions are informed by facts.
MNOs are operating within a harsh economic environment with inflation now in three-digit figures.
Consumers are also struggling, with purchasing power having been eroded by runaway inflation and while wages have remained stagnant.