The Zimbabwean government has introduced a range of additional licensing costs for privately owned telecoms companies in the country after missing its revenue targets for 2013 by 6%, local news agency IT Web News has reported. According to a government gazette, telcos will be charged a non-refundable application fee of USD160,000, an ‘annual fee payable in advance on or before the anniversary date of the licence’ of USD2,500, in addition to a USD1,000 sum payable each year towards the country’s Universal Services Fund (USF). However, state-owned telecoms operators TelOne and NetOne are expected to be exempt from the levies.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in June 2013 Zimbabwe raised the prices of the country’s mobile licence fees by 37%, from USD100 million to USD137 million, with the length of the concessions also extended from 15 years to 20 years. At the time Zimbabwe’s Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche noted that the increase was an adjustment to the outdated licensing procedure, which had been introduced more than 15 years ago. According to the updated pricing model, the operators also have to pay an annual licence fee of 2% of their audited annual gross revenue, while contributing 0.5% of the audited annual gross turnover to the Universal Services Fund (USF). Further, the operators have to pay frequency spectrum allocation fees in accordance with their requirements.