Heeding a directive from the Zimbabwe telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, NetOne has introduced per second billing for all calls within its network. NetOne confirmed today that subscribers will be charged US $0.0033 for each second. Multiply that by 60 seconds and you have your US 20 cents per minute, more or less. This is important.
Important because it works out cheaper for subscribers to make short duration calls. And more importantly because most mobile operators world over make per second billing cumulatively more expensive for every minute than per minute billing. In other words, it costs more to make a minute long call on a per-second billing package than it does to make a minute long call on a per minute package. Most operators thus have per second billing as an option and not the default.
NetOne simply divided the per -minute rate by 60 seconds and made per second billing the default. This makes the NetOne offering particularly attractive and a first. Good precedent for the other two mobile operators. It will also (hopefully) help NetOne grow its subscriber base to compete meaningfully with Telecel and Econet.
NetOne is a state owned mobile operator and is the smallest (by subscriber numbers) operator with just over 500,000 subscribers. Econet passed the 4 million mark about a month ago, and just this past weekend Telecel celebrated surpassing a million subscribers.