THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has launched an investigation into Econet Wireless Zimbabwe after Telecel Zimbabwe complained about alleged unfair business practices by its rival.
REPORT BY BERNARD MPOFU
It is understood that Telecel, the country’s second largest cellphone company, wrote to Potraz on Tuesday raising concerns over poor connectivity between the country’s mobile phone operators following a recently launched Telecel promotion which resulted in tariffs being slashed by nearly 50% across all networks.
This problem according to a statement released by Telecel yesterday started last week and is still obtaining.
“Currently, Telecel subscribers are experiencing major challenges in calling Econet numbers. On average it is taking 20 attempts before one can get through,” said Telecel in a statement. “This lack of connectivity has nothing to do with the Telecel network capacity. All our interconnect links have been thoroughly tested and monitored and have proved to be congestion-free. Calls to other local destinations, including NetOne, TelOne and Africom, as well as to international operators, and calls in the reverse direction are going through without any problem.”
Responding to questions sent by this paper on Tuesday, Potraz confirmed that a probe had begun to resolve this matter. The authority could, however, not disclose how long the investigation would take.
“The Authority has just received information regarding this matter and investigations are now in progress to establish the facts on the ground,” Potraz acting director-general Alfred Marisa said.
Questions sent to Econet were not responded to at the time of going to print.
The developments come at a time when competition in the telecoms sector has intensified as mobile phone penetration rose to 97% resulting in mobile phone operators introducing several promotions in a bid to widen their revenue base.
Early this month, Telecel introduced the Sim Card Reactivation promo which gives suspended subscribers a total of $20 in bonuses for reactivating their dormant lines.
The promotion came soon after the Mega Bonus Reloaded promo which offers an impressive 100% bonus to use for calls across all local networks and landlines.