The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued the country’s three mobile network operators with an ultimatum to register the personal details of all pre-paid SIM card users by 10 August 2010. State-backed newspaper The Herald quotes POTRAZ’s director-general Charles Sibanda as saying that the measures were being introduced for security reasons. He added that a penalty schedule would apply to companies that failed to meet the deadline. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe leads the market with approximately three million subscribers followed by Orascom Telecom-owned Telecel with around 650,000 customers and government-owned NetOne with no more than 500,000 subscribers. The vast majority of users are pre-paid.
In a separate announcement, POTRAZ has directed the three mobile operators to make per-second voice call billing available for all subscribers. Per-minute charging remains common in the country at present.