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During the presentation of the 4th quarter sector performance report, Director-General Gift Machengete said that the regulator hasn’t yet approved a new increase in tariffs. This is in the background of an application made by Mobile Network Operators and other service providers submitted to the regulator seeking to review the tariff upwards so that their prices reflect the changes in the economy.
However, POTRAZ says international tariffs were reviewed upwards by RBZ and not the telecoms regulator. This is because RBZ controls the inflows and outflows of forex of the country so it has a say in what service providers charge for international traffic.
POTRAZ uses a cost-based pricing model to determine what service providers charge subscribers. If service providers fail to prove the rise in their operation costs, then POTRAZ will stand its ground and not review the tariffs. As it is, service providers are being accused of charging absurd prices for people to access their core services. Accordingly, service providers will have a hard time to convince the regulator to increase the tariffs if it (the regulator/POTRAZ) decides to take into account things (like the fact that people’s salaries haven’t increased so it will unjustified to increase tariffs for them).
However, POTRAZ must consider that service providers are already in trouble with their international partners who they are failing to pay simply because they don’t have the money/forex. I’m fairly certain that if POTRAZ traces the root of this problem (failure by service providers to honor their debts), it will lead them to the service provider’s inability to adjust their prices relative to the change of economic conditions.
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