Telecoms Granted the go-ahead to Increase Costs of Voice Calls, Data and SMS Charges in Zimbabwe

The Portal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Zimbabwe’s regulatory body for telecommunications) recently granted operators in the telecommunications industry, the go-ahead to increase their prices due to the high costs of inputs. 

According to RegTech Africa, the State-owned mobile network operator, NetOne, was the first to adjust its charges, while Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and TelOne had indicated that they will adjust their headline tariffs beginning Wednesday, 29th September 2021. From the latest price schedule, NetOne’s 10 gigabyte (GB) will now cost $2 500, up from $2 000, while 25GB of data has been pegged at $4 250, up from $3 500. A 50GB data package, which was previously sold for $5 000 now costs $6 250.

At the same time, TelOne’s new voice tariffs for landline-to-landline calls have been reviewed upwards to $6,34 per minute for local calls, while landline-to-mobile tariffs are now going for $7,38 per minute.

Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator, Econet Wireless, also adjusted its voice bundles from $0,1070 per second to $0,1668, and SMS has been reviewed to $2,05 from $1,64. The company’s data bundles have been increased to $1,58 per megabyte (MB), up from the previous figure of $1,26 per MB.

State-owned broadband bundles cost range between $1499 and $2698 respectively, for 10GB and 20GB worth of data. 

Photo credit: RegTech Africa

POTRAZ director-general Dr. Gift Machengete recently said the country’s telecommunications operators needed heavy capital investments to remain relevant, especially at a time demand for ICTs has surged due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the necessity for greater investment in digital technologies, skills, resilience, and innovation can never be overemphasized.

Dr. Machengete further indicated that foreign currency shortages were having a significant impact on the sector and urged the government to find ways of helping the telcos.

Notably, the increase by PORTRAZ means that there is an average of 30% increase in the prices of data, calls, and SMS; this includes local and international. 

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