The Postal and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Potraz said that they will harshly penalize mobile Network Operators if they increase tarrifs without their express permission as this was against the telecommunications law.
Speaking to TechnoMag in a wide-ranging interview, the Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete said that if any mobile Network Increased tariffs without their approval they will be heavily penalized for that move.
“We have not authorized any tariff increase, If at all they are increasing above their threshold, we will penalize them for such a move.”
Dr Machengete clearly stated that the only increase that the consumers may expect was probably within the MNO promotions and not above the current stipulated limits that they have already approved last year.
The major tariff shift that we saw in Zimbabwe was announced in the last quarter of 2019 and MNOs had the jurisdiction to competitively price their products within the stipulated limits.
Potraz regulator, however, said that they are currently engaging with all MNOs over the issue, and are still at a stage where they asked them to submit their costs structures and justification of any price increases
There are no negotiations towards Tariff increases so far, We have requested the mobile networks to submit information pertaining their costs, so that we can feed the information into the TPI, which then informs us if there is any need for tariff increase, so that our decisions are informed by facts .”
Asked by how much the Mobile Networks have requested an increase, the Potraz DG said that they are not yet at that stage yet no negotiations are currently underway since they are still getting figures of the costs before they settle to a decision of any tariff increase.
Zimbabweans are currently reeling under economic pressure and telecommunication costs have come in hard for must subscribers who have had to brace up for multiple reviews.
The dollar buying power has been greatly eroded against poor remuneration that has caused a suppressed spending habit for telecommunication subscribers.
The operators have also found it difficult to stay afloat, hence they are calling for a tariff review towards sustainability