Econet Set For Massive Tariff Hike

Zimbabwean consumers are set for tough times as major telecommunications services provider Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited is set for a huge tariff increase.

Econet Wireless company secretary, Charles Banda said they had got approval from the regulator, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to hike tariffs by a total of 183% through staggered reviews in the next three months.

Banda said the telecommunications industry had been granted a staggered tariff adjustment with the next one set to take effect in September and the last one in November. This means not only Econet will increase its tariffs but NetOne and Telecel as well.

He said:

The telecommunications sector was granted a staggered tariff adjustment by the regulator of 61% in July 2022, and a further 61% with effect from 1 September 2022, and a further 61% with effect from 1 November 2022. The tariff adjustments will cover voice, SMS, data and internet services and are determined in the local currency.

In a recent update, Banda said Econet has suffered losses at its base stations from vandalism and theft. He said the increase in theft and vandalism was related to the deteriorating economic conditions. Banda said:

However, as inflation increases and disposable incomes are coming under more pressure, there is a discernible increase in the theft of diesel, batteries and solar panels. In response, we have enhanced security at our sites to counter the effects of increased vandalism and theft

Econet Wireless was the first mobile network operator to roll out 5G service in Harare towards the end of the last financial year.

In the quarter under review, 5G service was further rolled out in Bulawayo during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF 2022) and in Victoria Falls as well as in Chitungwiza, bringing the total number of 5G sites rolled out to 22.

In July, Econet increased voice, data and SMS tariffs in the first phase of the increases approved by POTRAZ.