Econet’s growth plans on hold

30 Jul 2007

Econet Wireless has suspended plans to increase its subscriber base as it awaits the outcome of its current lobby to the Post and Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to review mobile call tariffs. Businessdigest reports that the company has decided to stop connecting new numbers until POTRAZ and the cabinet’s Taskforce on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation approves a tariff review. The country’s three mobile network operators – Econet, NetOne and Telecel – were forced to reduce their tariffs drastically early this month following a government decision aimed at tackling hyperinflation (which reached 4,500% in May). Econet slashed its rates from between ZWD7,000 and ZWD10,000 per minute to between ZWD500 and ZWD800 a minute. The company has since informed POTRAZ that the changes threatened the viability of its network. Econet’s subscriber base was 634,414 at the end of March, up from 457,228 a year earlier.