The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has announced a one cent per minute increase in voice tariffs, taking the cost of calls from USD0.15 per minute to USD0.16. At the start of 2015 the regulator implemented a drastic reduction in voice tariffs, requiring operators to cut the cost of calls from USD0.23 per minute to USD0.15, and there had been plans to introduce another cut at the start of this year, but operator revenues have been hit hard by the move, with mobile market leader Econet Wireless forced to lower its wages and negotiate cheaper deals with its suppliers. Econet did launch an appeal against the 2015 tariff cuts but its case was rejected in November.
TechZim reports that the latest move by POTRAZ will give operators some breathing space, with the telecoms sector also being affected by the weak domestic economy which has hit disposable incomes. Zimbabwe’s mobile market is home to three players – privately owned Econet plus state-backed firms NetOne and Telecel – while the fixed line sector is dominated by state-run TelOne.