Few Hours back, we have officially received information that Potraz has forced Econet Wireless Zimbabwe to revert from the current 11cents per minute back to 25cents.
Econet Wireless Zmbabwe feels that the regulator is not playing fair here.
Last Thursday, Econet announced it was cutting call charges from 23 cents to 10 cents, a 60% cut that the company said included discounts on its Buddie Zone platform. But POTRAZ told Econet yesterday that it could not reduced call charges by more than 50%.
In a letter to Econet Wireless on Tuesday, POTRAZ said: “Given the foregoing, we hereby direct Econet to stop the implementation of the advertised tariffs with immediate effect and no further Buddie Zone advertisements should be flighted in any media issue or released after 4PM on Tuesday the 20th of August 2013.”
If Econet did not raise the tariffs by Friday, the company would be penalised.
Econet expressed disappointment with the move and said it will take the steps necessary to protect the interests of its customers and ensure competitiveness is protected in the market.
“The regulator is there to create a level playing field. We are not aware of any similar order being given to other operators who are freely offering similar discounts. Even when other operators violated key conditions of their license, we did not see any such threats being made. Now when we take steps to deliver affordable services to our own customers, we are barred. This leaves us wondering just how level our playing field really is,” Econet said.
The 10 cents tariffs had been well received by the public, with usage having risen sharply since the tariff was effected. The move by POTRAZ would disadvantage millions of Econet customers who were already enjoying the heavily discounted call charges on Econet and to other networks.