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Econet bemoans Zimbabwe's high inflationary pressures

By , Sub Saharan Africa Business, Tech, News and Development Journalist
Zimbabwe , 17 Jan 2024
Strive Masiyiwa, founder Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
Strive Masiyiwa, founder Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.

Due to severe inflationary pressures, Zimbabwe's largest telecom provider, Econet Wireless, has called for balanced regulation, a crucial step given the rising operational expenses caused by inflation and the shift to using the US dollar.

“It’s essential to find a middle ground where tariffs remain practical for the business without becoming unaffordable for consumers," saidTatenda Ngowe, Econet Group's company secretary, delivered a trading statement for the quarter ending November 2023 yesterday.

He added: “Regional benchmarks reflect that local telecommunication tariffs remain much lower than the region, despite the country’s cost structures being more demanding and access to foreign currency for infrastructure deployments being a significant challenge for local businesses.”

Ngowe described Econet's performance in the quarter, saying, "In order to maintain the quality of services amidst increased usage rates, there is a need for prices that support the business, especially when inflation affects capital spending.

“Implementing cutting-edge network technology, optimising spectrum utilisation, and increasing network density is necessary to manage growing data traffic and maintain a resilient network.”

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is a part of Econet Group, founded by business entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa, with operations and investments in 29 countries across Africa and Europe.

In its country of origin, Ngowe stated that Econet has been actively enhancing its network capabilities and securing its services in response to the growth of the digital economy and the increasing demand for mobile services.

He said: “This has allowed the business to continue thriving despite facing external pressures. To mitigate the negative impact of power outages, the business continues to invest in solar solutions. To counter the impact of vandalism and theft, the business has invested in enhanced security systems which have become even more critical in the current socio-economic environment.”

Further, he said investments made to bolster network capacity and enhance security indicate the company’s commitment to maintaining dependable services and customer satisfaction.

“The move towards utilising solar power reflects an innovative approach to address power supply challenges, ensuring consistent service availability even during power grid failures,” said Ngowe.

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