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Econet Wireless increases data tarriffs

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Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telecommunications company Econet Wireless has reviewed its data in the wake of mounting costs and rising inflation.

The country’s mobile networks operators (MNOs) last reviewed its tariff structure in June when it’s reviewed data bundles and SMS pricing by between 30 and 50 percent.

In a statement on Sunday, the country’s biggest MNO by subscriber base, Econet stated that it was going to review its data.

“Dear valued customers, please take note that bundle prices for data will be reviewed effective Monday 31 August 2020.”

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) approved data bundle price increases of up to 190 percent in early August, but Econet only implemented an increase of about 50 percent, leaving it with the headroom to adjust the pricing further at a later date.

Zimbabwe’s inflation rose to a 10-year high of 837 percent in July, after prices of goods and services took a spike due to the impact of drought, foreign currency shortages and the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Bundles are discounted promotional offers with a validity period, that local telecom operators offer their customers at prices within an approved threshold by the industry regulator.

The bundles, which are applied to voice, data and SMS products, range from daily, weekly and monthly bundles.

Earlier this year, the Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete told Parliament that the country’s data tariffs were lagging behind regional markets.

“As Potraz we have also considered the costs of the operator first so that they keep on running and after that we have been tracking the cost of data before we come up with the tariffs. We do not just put up tariffs,” he said.

The regulator now uses a pricing model called the Telecommunication Price Index (TPI) to help maintain operator and industry viability, and ensure sustained provision of telecommunication services in the country.

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