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Telecel vs Econet traffic throttling issue: Telecel issues official statement

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Telecel Zimbabwe Headquarters HarareWe just received a statement from Telecel on the “throttling issue” they are having with Econet which we posted about this morning. The statement basically confirms what Telecel sources have been telling us anonymously. That they suspect Econet is unfairly throttling calls from Telecel. And here is how Telecel backs their claims:

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  • Calls from Telecel to other networks are going through fine.
  • Calls to Econet normally have a 90% success rate but since 14 July, the success rate has been dropping to as low as 10% today.
  • That the same interconnection link used by the two companies is performing normally for Econet to Telecel calls.

Here’s the full statement:

Telecel Zimbabwe would like to inform its subscribers that it is currently facing major problems with connectivity to Econet Zimbabwe.

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This problem started around July 14 and is still obtaining to date. Currently, Telecel subscribers are experiencing major challenges in calling Econet numbers. On average it is taking 20 attempts before one can get through.

This lack of connectivity has nothing to do with the Telecel network capacity. All our interconnect links have been thoroughly tested and monitored and have proved to be congestion-free.

Calls to other local destinations, including Net-One, Tel-One and Africom, as well as to international operators, and calls in the reverse direction are going through without any problem.

A simple test will confirm this position. Econet has been alerted and has confirmed it is aware of this problem and has been working on it since being notified more than a week ago.

Our call completion statistics indicate that we normally have a completion rate of above 90 percent for all Telecel to Econet traffic. When the problem started, this reduced to 37 percent.

As of Monday this week (July 22), this came down to 19 percent. As of Wednesday (July 24), this had come down even further to only 10 percent.

It is worth mentioning that Telecel and Econet are sharing the same links for call completion. It is rare to have such a low completion rate on one side of the link. The same links are used for calls from Econet to Telecel. These reverse calls are being completed without any problem.

Such statistics paint a dire picture of deterioration of service delivery well outside the expected mobile service level parameters.

The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), our regulator, has been notified and is looking into the issue for a speedy resolution before service delivery is further compromised. We are confident that Potraz will ensure that the appropriate service levels are back to their norm very soon.

It is our hope that Econet Zimbabwe will find a solution to this problem urgently so that we can continue delivering our renowned quality service and best value for money to all our subscribers.

We apologise for this inconvenience being suffered by our customers and ask for our customers to bear with us and, as a short term measure, to increase Telecel-to-Telecel calls, which are fully within our control, to avoid the hassles being currently experienced.


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21 thoughts on “Telecel vs Econet traffic throttling issue: Telecel issues official statement

  1. To be fair there is no reason why Telecel should demand to use Econet to promote its own growth. If the success of Telecel is dependent on Econet then that’s a sad situation. I have never heard of a situation where a competitor comes to me and says I cannot grow my business because you are refusing to let me use your infrastructure. Econet are within their rights to refuse to be used because the people that Telecel is trying to sign on are actually Econet customers. Why does Telecel not use its own resources to grow its business rather than resorting to piggy backing on Econet. There are very smart people at Econet and their lawyers are equally smart so I do not see Telecel and POTRAZ winning this one. What Econet has simply done is to maintain the previous volume of Telecel to Econet traffic that existed before the Telecel promotion – the spike in volume attributable to the promotion is therefore filtered out and is not Econet’s baby but Telecel’s. Shandisai zvenyu – if you decide to reduce prices do so permanently and customers will naturally move.

    1. Econet has a duty of ensuring calls from Telecel get through to their subscribers. This is usually governed by regulations from Potraz. Econet cannot disconnect Telecel willy nilly…if that was the case they would have succeeded in disconnecting NetOne. At the end of the day Econets gets its interconnection fee from Telecel so they have no financial loss. In the current setup Telecel gains financially since it will be paid by Econet for calls that are are getting through to its customers. Obviously with this setup Econet stands to gain by discouraging people from switching to Telecel from Econet since they will not be able to call econet subscribers. This is just plain old sabotage at work.

    2. Clearly you are one of Econets sheep and have been blinded by unethical business practice. Maybe on day when you can afford to by a ticket out of ZIm for a day or two notice how other companies are run and how they follow the regulations.

      P.S. This comment may dissapear as its against Econet and TechZim seems to not be liking my view on this matter.

    3. my frend, u r greatly lost and i can tell u have a dog eat dog mentality which promotes death not growth, econet used to cry about not being allowed to use the zim airwaves n they grew because of sympathy, and now they are sabotaging telecel because it is offering better service, what you saying is that if i am selling cheaper better quality bread to pple in your neighborhood you will trench the road and call it fair competition. you know nothing about telecoms, hanzi volume increase, you are a dealer n if u dont change ol u will ever have is a second hand japanese car n a rented house n say wabudirira

    4. iwe mboko iwe nyara manhi. kana usingazive bizinisi ne telecoms zvirinani ushaye chekutaura kwete kungowawata zvisina nebasa. hatidi bad business practice in Zimbabwe. Potraz must create a level playing field.

    5. iwe if calls to other networks achitemineta zvakanaka oramba kuEconet, chero waka gumira grade 2 zvinorevei?

      Now think for a second if a Telecel to Telecel Termination issue (its obviously a Telecel network issue)- How about Telecel to international termination issue (Telecel issue)…

      Fact is Telecel to all other networks (local, regional or international are working fine) Now what so important with Econet chinoita kuti irambe.

      Hacha, hazvina basa kuti uri garden boy waStrive. Nyarara…

      1. Wajaira zvemahara. Zvino kaTelecel kacho kachavharwa 100% and you will be left with a dud line.

    6. Hacha according to the GSM licence that all operators have they are compelled by law to provide access to their network.Econet is in trouble.Their behaviour is immoral.Anti-competive , hypocritical and down right near ” treasonous” .Imagine doctors on Telecel failing to call their clients on Econet ? Dont forget that once upin a time Netone launched the dollar a day promo and a few weeks later Econet switched them off for an unpaid debt. Econet must be foped in.Period.

  2. Why woul Econet do that?

    Correct me if I am wrong. My understnding from the Econet vs Net-One saga 2012 there is a certain fee paid by origanating service provider called terminating fee.

    For example, a customer of Telecel wishes to call a friend who has an Econet
    mobile. Telecel will charge the customer a fee per minute (the retail
    charge) for this call. Econet will charge Telecel a fee [7 or 8 cents] for
    terminating the call on its network. This termination rate therefore
    forms part of Telecel’s cost of providing the call to its customer.

    Now this means Econet will make more money when it has many subscribers on Telecel calling to it. Instaed what I think is that Telecel afraid that its More Fire 2013 reloaded will leave it bankrupt, WHY? More-Fire 2013 reloaded states that one can call from bonus airtime to any service provider. So as we have many subscribers calling Econet from the bonus Airtime it means that there is no money financing this call terminating on Econet as it is a call originating from bonus minutes NB these minutes have not been paid for there are just a “BONUS”.

    The Telecel Red Table Promotion

    The Telecel Red 30 ($30 bonus on local voice calls), Red 60 ($60 bonus on local voice calls), and Red 150 (Unlimited calls to any local number). Now with all these calls terminating on Econet where will Telecel get the money to pay for the terminating fees of these calls.

    NOw that Telecel has seen that its promotions are bringing its finances down it has decided to play a blame game. All Telecel subscribers should get an explanation from their service provider.

    1. Agree with you. This saga needs to be also looked at with the payment cycles for interconnection fees. If they have been taking long to pay the interconnection fee, letting them accrue more interconnection debt, especially in the face of their declined license as well as the impending $137.5m required for the license will be economically and strategically irresponsible.

      If they were paying as per requirements, there is no reason Econet will choke their access, since they would be making money from it. Telecel look like they are trying be saints when they are not. Lets wait and find out how it plays out

    2. Econet do earn money from telecel to econet calls, they however make more money on econet to econet calls and dearly want people to have an econet line not a telecel line so they can on sell other services to them.

      As econet has 70+ % of the market it is fair to presume that telecel customers call econet customers a lot, and by frustrating this process the telecel customer is more likely to drop telecel and move to econet where they can call most of the people.

      This sort of unfair business practise is illegal in most countries and the mobile operators licenses are given on conditions such that they connect fairly at a reasonable price to stop them doing such things and prejudicing the customer.

      At the end of the day we are the ones losing out if econet continues with such practises, the more of a monopoly they are the higher they can push prices and cut services.

      Econet has already proved they are not above such dirty tactics just look how they blocked the banks from doing mobile to cash transfers over USSD then turned around and said they brought such products and the banks couldn’t, the only reason being econet blocked them from doing it not cos they were / are technically incapable of doing it, such functionality works on telecel USSD.

    3. If termination cost is 7cents and Telecel gives 100% bonus then it simply means the termination cost will amount to 14cents and since it is 21cents per minute then still Telecel will make 7cents from each made by their subscribers so there is NO way the MORE-FIRE 2013 will leave them broke. Econet is just being a coward here.

  3. competition authorities should fine econet heavily for this . . . strive has become arrogant

    1. It is easy…. we all have multiple lines…..lets just protest by not using the Econet line for 1 week and see who suffers. They are taking us for granted forgetting that us their clients have kids using telecel, we have doctors using telecel, we have businesses using telecel and also lients using telecel…. Econet u are selfish but just watch the space oz u are the one who is gonna cry in a few days.

  4. Orascom… I hope you have facts to your I suppose assumptions about Telecel making losses with their promotions. What I know, companies do have decision support systems (I too assume Telecel does have these) and before decisions are made, analyses are done to evaluate the impact of certain moves. Perhaps (again my assumption), they realised they would make the losses but maybe their objective is to gain market at the cost of the losses. Or, perhaps they are actually making profits. All this is a function of commercial analysis (which I’m very good at actually, kkkkk). I do not have a position because I do not have their facts. You too should not say they are making losses.

    Others… Econet have since taken (in my view) the position of regulator. I’m no genius with regards to law, but if POTRAZ did not shut down Telecel, why should Econet do something close to that?

    Case of substance over form: Many telecel people could not get through to econet lines. What happened to those who were in emergencies huh? Or those who wanted to call their loved ones and couldn’t get through? How many lost business and continue to do so now? The ‘form’ of the matter is the licence issue, but the ‘substance’, which is more important than the ‘form’, is the value people get when making calls. We need a level playing field. POTRAZ has not yet shut down Telecel, so should we file a lawsuit against POTRAZ in terms of Section 61? Econet?????? (oh, and if Telecel has issues with its original licence, Econet you should understand better since you struggled with getting your own licence and I’m sure you know the frustrations an MNO can get when they try to get a licence).

    Neither Econet nor Telecel is going to come out in the open and proclaim to have done bad business practice but should it be so, whoever is doing so shame on you.

  5. What Telecel isn’t saying is that they have cheaper rates and therefore have an increased volume of calls. Since they have approximately 2million subscribers and Econet around 8million the traffic flow of calls will significantly increase towards Econet subscribers and Econet systems. Telecel is therefore asking that Econet give priority to them for irregular traffic that their system is not designed for, this would entail giving Telecel-Econet calls priority over Econet-Econet call with no compensation.

    Telecel marketing has been feeding incorrect information to the Media and this so called journalist L.S.M Kabweza didnt put the side of Econet.

    1. Exactly, telecel should have asked for a special dispensation for Econet to change the call sharing ratio and allow for their increased calls. They should also pay Econet some fee for inconveniencing their own customers to benefit Telecel. It isnt very competitive for Telecel to demand that their rivals should cater for them
      smh stupidity

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