Wednesday, 6 May 2020

ECONET, NETONE HIKE DATA PRICES


Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network operator (MNO), Econet Wireless yesterday hiked the prices of its mobile data bundles by between 30% and 225%, while State-owned NetOne is expected to follow suit today.

Econet increased the price of its social media bundles by between 30% and 40%, while the high-end 25GB wifi bundle went up by 225%, from $400 monthly to $1 300.

The company said the price for the wifi bundle was last reviewed more than half a year ago, but was utilised by less than 0,01 % of its data customers.

The new prices would help it keep pace with rising costs of doing business in a highly inflationary environment, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said yesterday.

NetOne posted on their Twitter handle: “Please be advised that NetOne will be reviewing its bundle prices effective May 6, 2020.”

Potraz director-general Gift Machengete said “the then prevailing tariff thresholds had been rendered unsustainable as the operating environment continued to deteriorate due to constantly rising inflation.”
Early last month, Potraz awarded the telecommunications sector a 56,64% tariff adjustment after inflation continued to rise.

But in announcing the increase yesterday, the regulator said the cost of goods and services had continued to spiral, threatening the viability of mobile network operators and the whole telecommunications sector.

Econet last week wrote to its suppliers asking them to cut prices by 20% with effect from May 1, citing worsening trading conditions.

Media lobby group, Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe recently called for affordable and reasonable data fees during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow increased access to the internet for information regarding the dreadful virus. Newsday

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