Econet sues regulator for USD132.7 million

15 Jan 2016

Zimbabwe’s mobile market leader Econet Wireless is suing the country’s telecoms watchdog, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), for USD132.7 million. According to a report from NewsDay, the cellco says POTRAZ was wrong to order mobile operators to reduce tariffs by 30% from 1 January 2015 and is suing for lost profits; it claims that the move was outside of the powers given to POTRAZ by the Telecommunications Act. In addition, Econet says that while it paid a USD137.5 million fee to renew its operating licence in mid-2013, rival operators NetOne, Telecel and TelOne – all of which are either wholly or part owned by the Zimbabwean government – failed to pay for their own licence renewals, and this action was ‘discriminatory’ according to Econet. Econet did launch an appeal against the 2015 tariff cuts, but its case was rejected in November.