Data tariffs; minister threatens Econet, defends Net-One

Government has threatened to bring in foreign telecommunications players to compete with Econet and end its market dominance saying this was causing arbitrage.

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Zimbabwe’s telecommunication sector is currently facing an investment crisis due to foreign currency shortages, an official has said
Zimbabwe’s telecommunication sector is currently facing an investment crisis due to foreign currency shortages, an official has said

Government has threatened to bring in foreign telecommunications players to compete with Econet and end its market dominance saying this was causing arbitrage.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting service deputy minister Energy Mutodi said because of the recent hike in data tariffs by Econet along with other players, government would be forced tom allow foreign competition.

Mutodi said Econet Wireless was not supposed to hike its prices because of its market share.

“Econet data bundle prices are obscene given its huge market share and increased social media. We don’t want to be tempted to invite MTN,” Mutodi said.

The minister however defended state owned Netone’s tariff increase saying they had few customers.

“Net-One has fewer customers and its bundles have very low demand. For Econet I was expecting the company directors to capitalize on the economies of scale and charge less for bundles but targeting volumes which they already have,” he said.

Econet and Netone increased data tarrifs by more than 300% owing to the current economic challenges facing the country.