Still trying to wrap your head around the new tariffs as Econet, NetOne, Liquid, Telone and others increased their prices recently? Sorry to pile it on, but you are going to have to do the same two more times this year. It’s better this way, when the scheduled price hikes eventually hit, you will not be caught by surprise.
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) in a circular on tariff adjustments shared precisely what we should expect later this year. Before these latest tariff increases, POTRAZ had last made adjustments in September 2021.
Imagine, with the way the ZW$ has been crashing, taking 9 months to make tariff adjustments seems too long. I don’t know about you but I was uneasy waiting for the tariff hikes to hit. This time around, I will rest easy knowing not only when but also by how much prices will increase.
Scheduled tariff hikes
- Charges for Mobile, Fixed and lAP licensed services shall increase by up to 61 % with immediate effect. [This is the one we are braving through right now.]
- Charges for the services will be reviewed by a further 61% with effect from 1 September 2022 and a further 61% with effect from 1 November 2022.
For us, the consumers, this is not good news. However, when we remind ourselves that year on year inflation in June 2022 was 191% we see that these scheduled price hikes won’t even be enough to keep up with inflation.
Here are the nitty gritties of how the hikes will pan out.
(ZWL) exclusive of taxes
|Mobile On net calls per minute||7.83||12.61||20.30||32.68|
|Mobile Off net call origination per minute||5.35||8.61||13.87||22.83|
|Interconnection per minute||2.22||3.57||5.75||9.26|
|SMS per message||1.61||2.59||4.17||6.72|
|USSD per session||1.61||2.59||4.17||6.72|
|Mobile data per megabyte||1.24||2.00||3.21||5.17|
|Mobile International call origination per minute||5.76||9.27||14.93||24.04|
|Fixed On net calls per minute||4.95||7.97||12.83||20.66|
|Fixed National Call Origination per minute||3.54||5.70||9.18||14.77|
|Fixed international call origination per minute||3.68||5.92||9.54||15.36|
|2Mbits leased line (per month)||46556.78||74,956.42||120,679.83||194,294.53|
|FTTH Data (per MB)||0.08||0.13||0.21||0.33|
Do note that these prices are exclusive of taxes. For the current price hike, the approved ZW$12.61 per minute turned out to be ZW$16.12 after taxes. That means taxes added about 28% to the final price so add that to the above prices to have a better picture of what you will actually pay later on this year.
At least we have transparency
Price hikes are never a cause for celebration. In fact there is nothing to celebrate as regards the above figures except that we got to know what is coming beforehand.
The hikes are too little for operators while at the same time too high for the consumer. Only the govt sits pretty, claiming for itself over 40 cents of every dollar of airtime sold.