THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) has defended the recent move by telephony operators to raise tariffs for both voice and data, saying the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe has been rising due to inflation.
The regulator approved a 95% increase in voice and date tariffs for both mobile and fixed network operators, saying the previous tariffs that were agreed to in August had since been made worthless by rising inflation.
“People are complaining that the tariffs are too high, but there is no logical basis to that claim,” Gift Muchechetere, the POTRAZ Director-General, told media on the sidelines of an African Union workshop on Internet connectivity this week in Harare.
“Operating costs have been rising in Zimbabwe due to the rising inflation. If you compare our tariffs with those obtaining in the region, you’ll realize that we actually have lower tariffs even after the increases effected recently.
“What is happening in Zimbabwe is that incomes have been eroded by inflation, hence people might find these tariffs too steep for their incomes. But the tariffs remain below the regional average.”
POTRAZ says a voice call in Zimbabwe as of November 2019 must cost US$0.061. The average cost in the Sadc region is US$0.11.
Econet, Telecel, NetOne and TelOne are among the network operators that hiked their tariffs in the beginning of this month.
The following are the tariffs obtaining in the Sadc region for a variety of services offered by regional mobile operators: