Home » Industry » Mobile Phone Operators Finally Slash Tariffs

Zimbabweans are now set for a belated Christmas present after two key mobile phone service providers said they were ready to comply with the directive to slash voice tariffs by nearly 30 percent beginning January 1, 2015.

Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne have both agreed to comply with the Postal and Tele-communications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ)’s October 16 directive while Econet, the country’s largest mobile phone company, is yet to reveal any plans to follow suit.

The current rates, which stand at 23 cents per minute, are set to be reduced to just 15 cents.

The decision to revise the tariffs down follows a study by Potraz which established mobile phone users were being overcharged by a massive 30 per cent.

Authorities fell out of favour with the Cositu pricing framework, which is an International Telecommunications Union’s model for the determination of costs and tariffs (including interconnection and accounting rates) for telephone services.

They instead resolved to adopt a long run incremental cost (LRIC) model, which will see tariffs progressively coming down.

“The Cositu model that was used from 2004 to 2009 was designed for switched circuits and has since been rendered obsolete due to technological and market developments in terms of newer services that are packet-based across the board,” the authority said in the circular.

According to the report, Potraz tariffs will further come down to 12c per minute in 2015, before plunging to 9c in 2016.

The interconnection rate, which has been 7c for several years, will be reduced to 5c in December, 4c in 2015 and 3c by 2016.

The move to slash mobile phone rates is welcome relief to overtaxed locals who have been up in arms over the country’s pricing regime which they feel was unnecessarily disproportionate to that obtaining within the region.

Source : New Zimbabwe