Its a double-edged sword as finally, Zimbabwe Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) get a nod towards voice tariff increases, having proposed a 300% increase, Potraz finally backed down to allow 100%, but the consumers are bleeding.
It has been a painstaking process since April with all telecommunication operators demanding a tariff review from Potraz, with at least 300% as the minimum demanded, amidst sharp operational costs and RTGS currency losing value daily.
The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) today got a nod towards tariff increases, having proposed a 300% increase, but Potraz finally backed down to allow 100% increase to balance off the actual costs faced by operators, while considering the cost of living for the consumers
Effective Thursday, the 8th of August 2019, Potraz has given a green light to Mobile Network Operators to charge 49cents per minute a sharp rise from 17 cents per minute, consequently, they have dumped the Long-Run Average Incremental Cost (LRIC) model billing preferring the Total Pricing Index (TPI)
The new costing structure considers the actual costs that the operators are currently facing daily. Mobile networks will be expected to bill competitively from these ceiling rates
To that effect, the adjustment will at least enable operators to recuperate for the purposes of service provision.
Though its a small victory for the operators, they finally got a share from the bargain, far from the initial crumbs offered.
The affected part in this matrix is always the consumer with government and private sectors offering less 50% salary increments. Zimbabweans are living way below the poverty datum line
It has been a catch 22 situation, at least for now the sector which was under siege can pick up some new revenues to add to their balance sheet, however as they close the trading period, the 100 % increase will mean nothing, they are still behind in revenue collection.
The sector has seen new sharp costs of diesel with 18 hours of demanded alternative energy, booming network maintenance costs and prolonged hours of disconnection due to lack of power on the consumer side itself hence less usage of the service affecting revenue generation.