Econet says its owed over US$25 million in interconnection fees by NetOne & TelOne

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Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) has said that it is owed over US$25 million in interconnection fees by NetOne and TelOne, two State-owned telecoms operators.

In an article in the Sunday Mail citing Econet’s response to statements made in parliament last week by the Minister of ICT Supa Mandiwanzira, Econet stated that it is currently owed more than US$25 million by TelOne and NetOne even after the 2 operators’ previous debt of US$60 million in interconnection fees was assumed by government in a licence payment deal.

Interconnection fees are monies that each telecoms operator charges other operators for connecting to its network. License regulations stipulate that each operator settle this debt with other operators. In 2012 and 2013 they were the subject of Econet’s dispute with NetOne and Telecel respectively.

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Econet eventually offset its licence requirements against the unpaid interconnection fees it was owed by NetOne and TelOne, an arrangement which Mandiwanzira highlighted as a representation of how Econet hadn’t really paid its licence in full. the Minister argued that in effect, Econet’s licence was paid by citizens of Zimbabwe since the debt was assumed by their government.

The failure by other operators to pay fees due has consistently been cited by Econet as an example of the unfair playing field in Zimbabwean telecoms. Econet has stated that it has paid its interconnection fees to the other operators.



6 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Econet 100% that the failure to pay the interconnection fees does not only create an uneven playing field but is also clearly fraudulent. The interconnection fee is already collected from the customer. Why can’t they pass it on to the rightful owner? If I sold tickets to a Tuku show through an agency arrangement and then used 100% of the money I would be put in jail for theft by conversion no?

    1. SirCodexofWedza says:

      True, we as the tax payers assume the burden of their lack of payment. For some thing we are just to docile! we must demand accountability!

      1. Macd Chip says:

        You are actually paying twice. You pay through airtime, then pay again for the abused funds which gets turned into gvt debt

  2. Takanaka says:

    Perhaps it is time for business owners and the public to migrate from the thieving Telecel, NetOne and TelOne who are complicit together with Government in trying to illegally shut out Econet. Over the years what I have observed is that when you put Masiyiwa in a corner you are likely to bring the best out of him.I have the confidence that once the playing field has been leveled, Econet will come out with the most competitive tariff. They know they cannot match Econet

  3. Mwalimu says:

    In the meantime advertisers are paying for an erratic service on ZIFM owned by the minister! Half the time the transmission is not clear. The radio broadcast playing field is uneven.

  4. Llodza says:

    As if we paid willingly. My foot! The unhonourable minister is trying to play to the gallery and make people turn against Econet in the belief that they bankrolled a struggling entity when it’s the government that misappropriated the interconnection fees.

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