Zim cellcos get temporary spectrum to boost data services

12 May 2020

The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has allocated the country’s three mobile network operators – Econet, NetOne and Telecel – free wireless spectrum until the end of the year in order to help them cope with increased demand for bandwidth during the COVID-19 crisis. The regulator says operators will be assigned additional 3G and 4G spectrum until December to enable them to improve their data offerings.

Cellcos were heavily criticised recently for implementing sharp hikes to their mobile data pricing, with tariffs up by as much as 225% at Econet, though POTRAZ says the rises still keep data prices within its guidelines. Zimbabwe has been hit by soaring inflation and devaluation of the local currency against the US dollar. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the country was home to 13.2 million active mobile subscribers at the end of 2019, up from 12.9 million a year earlier.