The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has introduced a new flexible model that replaces the old fixed model for determining the various tariffs for telecommunications operators in Zimbabwe.
The new flexible model is set to improve viability and customer’s need for affordable services through improving sustainability of the local telecoms firm’s businesses.
The new tariff model has caused mobile operators of telecommunications companies to adjust their tariffs in line with a 23 per cent increment in service provision costs across the entire telecommunications industry.
The new tariff model, according to the POTRAZ, takes into account the services provision costs, market trends, economic fundamentals and affordability.
The meaning of this, according to POTRAZ is that telecommunications services tariffs have not been aligned to the movement of service provision in 2018 coupled with the new exchange rates recently pronounced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in their 2019 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS).
As a consequence of the pricing model changes the new POTRAZ tariffs were effected recently on 1 April 2019.
Consequently as a result of the changes in POTRAZ tariff pricing, Zimbabwe’s three Mobile network operators, Econet, NetOne ans Telecel have since announced almost uniform new pricing packages for voice tariffs.
As a result of the changes, Econet Wireless’ per-minute charges are now pegged at RTGS $0.2157 whilst NetOne and Telecel charges are pegged at RTGS$ 0,2199 and 0,22 respectively after the POTRAZ tariffs changes announcement on 1 April.
POTRAZ states that the changes were considered after the inter-bank foreign currency market rate that was introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The tariff model includes calculation of exchanging the US dollar pegged tariff to RTGS $ at a rate of $1 to RTGS$ 2.5 in order to safeguard operators against losses in exchange.
In 2015 the thresholds for voice services were reviewed from US 23 cents per minute to US 15cents per minute, which was a downward review.
However, the thresholds were reviewed upwards to US 16cents per minute to factor in the Universal Service Fund Levy that had been increased to 1.5 percent from 0.5 percent.
Telecommunications operators had requested that POTRAZ increase the tariffs levy to 40 percent but however POTRAZ had turned this down according to sources.