Rising operational costs push Econet to adjust tariffs

July 7, 2021

BUSINESS REPORTER

Econet Wireless says a 20% adjustment on its promotional bundle prices effective today was necessitated by rising costs.

“The bundle price adjustment is an average 20% uplift across the board, and is essentially in response to rising input costs,” a company spokesman said.

The latest adjustments, which are still below the approved POTRAZ bundle tariffs, will see a two-minute voice call bundle now going for ZWL$10, up from the ZWL$8.40, while a weekly 30-minute bundle will go from ZWL$166 to ZWL$180.

An SMS daily bundle, consisting of five messages, has been reviewed upwards to ZWL$2.40, from ZWL$2.09, while the weekly bundle, made up of 75 messages, will now cost ZW$30, up from ZWL$23.81.

Econet’s promotional bundle price review, which follows the last review done in March of this year, does not include the headline (or out-of-bundle) tariffs, which remain unchanged, with the last adjustment having been made in September last year.

In that period, the price of electricity has gone up by more than 180 percent, while fuel prices have increased by more than 30 percent, between October 2020 and July this year. Diesel went up from an average US$1 per litre in October last year, to an average US$1.30 per litre by July this year.

“Electricity and diesel are major cost drivers for our business, and indeed for the industry. However, our tariffs still track behind these and other input costs,” the Econet spokesman said.

According to the reviewed Econet data bundle prices, the daily data bundle will now cost ZWL$25 for 20MB of data, up for  ZWL$20, while Econet subscribers will now pay ZWL$375 for a weekly 370MB data bundle, up from ZWL$288.

The monthly 8 gigabyte (GB) data bundle has gone up to ZWL$2 030 from ZWL$1 560, while a monthly Private WiFi 50GB bundle has been reviewed to ZWL$6 240 from ZWL$4 800. The 10GB e-Learning bundle, valid for 30 days, has also been adjusted from ZWL$1 720 to ZWL$2 240.

A 20 megabyte (MB) of the Facebook daily bundle will cost ZWL$25, up from ZWL$20, while WhatsApp users will pay ZWL$55 for a daily 45MB bundle, which previously costs ZWL$43. Twitter users will now pay ZWL$42 for the same 45MB bundle, up from ZWL$32.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate stood at 106.64 percent in June and 161.91 percent in May, according to Zimstat.

“Our pricing review is designed to ensure viability of the business and ensure that we continue to offer a reasonable quality of service to our valued customers,” the spokesman said.

A recent Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe report said the telecommunications industry had recorded a 34.1% increase in costs in the first quarter of 2021, with costs rising from ZWL$7.6bn, up from ZWL$5.7bn recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.

 

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