Weak Zim currency causes substantial hike in telecom tariffs
The Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says Zimbabwe dollar's significant devaluation has resulted in a substantial hike in telecom tariffs.
The hikes did not apply to internet and voice services valued in US dollars.
Last week, telecom companies, notably mobile network operators and Internet Service Providers, raised data and voice fees by large margins, triggering public outrage that the tariffs in local currency had inflated beyond many people's reach.
Potraz approved telecom tariff increases with a 100% rise. Econet, TelOne, and Liquid were among the telecom firms who raised their rates last week.
The Zimbabwean telecoms regulator has now said that "the new tariff thresholds are applicable to services" denominated only in Zimbabwe dollars.
"The new tariff thresholds were triggered by the Zimbabwe dollar's 738.75% depreciation against the USD from US$1:ZWL684.33 in December 2022 to US$1:5739.8 in June 2023," said Gift Machengete, Potraz's director general, in a notice issued over the weekend.
"Significant cost movements were registered for foreign currency denominated costs such as foreign exchange losses, depreciation which increased in tandem with exchange rate depreciation, bandwidth cost which increased by 200%, software licence fees, fuel and spares for network maintenance."