Call termination rates cripple TelOne

11 Feb 2003

Zimbabwe-based fixed line operator TelOne’s financial future is hanging in the balance as a result of a pricing system heavily weighted against the operator. According to the local press, TelOne charges BT around USD0.03 per minute in termination rates for calls from the UK to Zimbabwe, while paying USD0.20 per minute to the UK PTO for outbound traffic. It appears that the tariff disparity has resulted in TelOne being unable to buy bandwidth, which has itself caused serious disruption in internet traffic between Zimbabwe and Europe; it is also believed to have affected financial institutions using e-banking. The telco has made a number of unsuccessful requests to the government for a revision of the tariff structure. International sources have pointed out that the current situation means Zimbabwe has become a cheap route for international traffic.