Zimbabwe’s largest cellular operator by subscribers, Econet Wireless, has now confirmed that it is to abide by a ruling from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) under which all three of the country’s mobile providers are required to cut their voice tariffs. Rival firms Telecel and NetOne had already stated that they would by reducing the cost of voice calls from 1 January 2015, but Econet had initially opposed the move, threatening to take the matter to court. According to a report from ITWeb Africa, the market leader has now sent subscribers a text message stating that ‘tariffs have been reduced to 15 cents per minute for Econet to Econet calls and 16 cents per minute to local networks’.
In a ruling published last year, POTRAZ called on cellcos to implement pricing based on a long run incremental cost (LRIC) model from the start of 2015, with the cost of on-net voice calls to drop from USD0.23 a minute to USD0.15, while the cost of a SMS text message was cut from USD0.08 to USD0.05. The regulator plans further tariff cuts to USD0.12 later this year and to USD0.09 per minute in 2016. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Econet controlled 64% of Zimbabwe’s 14.1 million mobile users at the end of September 2014, while NetOne had around 20% and Telecel had around 16%.