Telcos hikes Zimdollar tariffs. . . as inflation erodes their margins

Econet shop

ZIMBABWE’S mobile network operators have reviewed their tariffs in Zimdollar as the sector battles to offset rising costs and maintain operations in the face of inflationary pressures triggered by the depreciation of the local currency against major currencies, among other economic challenges.

Econet Wireless, the largest mobile network operator, reviewed its Zimdollar tariffs this week.

“Dear customers, we are reviewing our ZWL data and SMS bundle prices, effective Tuesday, 20 June 2023. Visit for more information. Other prices remain unchanged,” Econet said in a notice to customers.

Last week, State-owned mobile operator NetOne also reviewed its local currency tariffs upwards.

“Dear valued customer, please be advised that we are reviewing our ZWL bundle tariffs with effect from Saturday 10 June 2023,” part of a statement released by NetOne read.

The local tariff adjustments range from 100 to 200% with Telecel, the country’s third mobile network operator, expected to follow suit. This is on the back of a recent report by IH Securities, which indicated that the local currency had depreciated by 647% this year against the US dollar.

The Zimdollar this week traded at US$1:$5 979 on the RBZ foreign exchange auction, up from US$1:$882 four months ago (on February 22, 2023).

This has put immense pressure on mobile network operators and other Telcos, whose input costs are largely denominated in foreign currency.

The sector, which has been struggling to maintain profitability in the face of challenges in the business operating environment, hopes the tariff increase will help it maintain operational viability.

In its latest financial results, Econet recorded a $16,99 billion loss in the full year to February 28, 2023, after the group incurred exchange losses of $77 billion, while Telecel has been placed under judicial management after the company was deemed insolvent.

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