Yesterday, the state owned daily published an article titled “Low Tariffs Affect Parastatals Infrastructure”. You can find it here. The article mentions Air Zimbabwe, Agribank, National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, Cold Storage Company, Grain Marketing Board and TelOne in a list of state companies that registered interim losses of up to 46.4 million to October last year.
We’ve written about TelOne rates here before. So it’s really no surprise that TelOne is on this list. TelOne offers the cheapest calling rates in Zimbabwe. Of course there’s the traditional ‘trunk calls’ thing that fixed operators are clinging to; you pay more for trunk calls depending on the physical distance to the call destination.
Still the tariffs still appear significantly low that the mobile operators. Here’s the TelOne tariff sheet:
In comparison, all the mobile networks currently charge US 23 cents for calls within the network and US 25 cents for calls out of the network. All except Telecel that is; Telecel scrapped the extra cost of out-of-network calls in February.
We’re not complaining here, but this says something about communication costs in Zim. While many people have accused mobile network operators of overcharging, what do we make of it if those charging ‘reasonable’ rates are failing to maintain their infrastructure.