MNOs and ISPs feeling the pinch despite latest tariff review

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Staff Writer

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will continue to feel the pinch despite the latest tariff review by the regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz).

Potraz recently approved a 57 percent upward review for voice, data and SMS tariffs to catch up with the constantly rising operating costs affecting the telecoms sector. The application to increase tariffs was done in December last year but only approved last week.

Before taxes consumers will now pay $1.17 on-net calls per-minute, SMS at $0.30 while mobile data per megabyte will be at $0.23.

The telecoms sector has now indicated that the tariff review is just a drop in the ocean on the back of run-away inflation and currency instability in the market.

ICT Association of Zimbabwe president Jacob Mutisi told The Anchor that the latest tariff increase by Potraz remains marginal; when judged against the macro-economic environment.

“This is a marginal increase considering that inflation is at 540%. This is marginal because remember they have a forex obligation to pay for their interconnections and equipment,” said Mutisi.

He said in as much as the increase is marginal on the part of MNOs, the consumer is also going to have a fair share of the pain as income has remained stagnant.

“To the consumer it will hit the pockets because the salaries are stagnant.  These MNOs also need forex which is not readily available in banks,” said Mutisi.

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