Econet wireless Zimbabwe limited says it is battling to recover about $70 million owed by TelOne and NetOne in interconnection fees.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting in Harare on Friday, Econet Wireless chairman Tawanda Nyambirai said it had since engaged the government to recover money owed by TelOne while efforts were underway to recover funds from NetOne.
“We are in discussions with the government to recover the money. So we have to be responsible in the way we recover it. TelOne acknowledges the indebtness and its paying although in low amounts,” he said.
“For NetOne, we have litigated and we are in the process of recovering,” Nyambirai said.
Nyambirai said if less people used landlines to call mobile phones this would limit the debt from increasing.
Last year, the company accused TelOne of refusing to remit $38 million in call termination fees since January 2009 and called on the government to intervene in the dispute.
In terms of an interconnection agreement between the two telecoms firms, TelOne is obliged to pay fees for its traffic that terminates on Econet’s network and vice-versa. Interconnection agreements apply when a telecommunications provider carries traffic of another network and terminates it on its network.
Meanwhile the company said it planned to invest $5 million in its customer relations management systems in the next 12-18 months to address customer issues that it has been facing over the years.
Nyambirai said the company has realised that its call centres were not enough to meet the 5,7 million subscriber base that the company has.
“Our network is going through a lot of work, and when people judge us they should judge us the same way as other companies that have gone through tough times. We are doing the best that we can to improve our customer care,” he said.
Executive director, John Pattison, who is responsible for customer services said they have put a request for pricing to various companies that supply equipment for the customer service systems.
“In the next three to four months we will be working on the service issue. Call centres need serious attention. We will see if we need in-house support systems or we have to outsource,” Pattison said.