Zimbabwe’s telecommunications regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has approved the dual pricing of operator tariffs.
Potraz said: “In order to facilitate dual pricing under the new exchange rate regime, the authority hereby advises all licensed postal and telecommunication operators that the implementation of the dual pricing system shall entail converting the current Zimdollar tariffs to US$-denominated tariffs at an exchange rate of US$1: $25 to arrive at the base US$ denominated tariffs”.
The regulator added: “The US$ denominated base tariffs will then be converted at the ruling exchange rate as determined by the auction system, to arrive at Zimbabwe Dollar-denominated tariffs.”
The companies have been directed to convert the current tariffs by 25 Zimbabwe dollars to determine the level of US$ tariffs, the exchange rate that applied in March 2020.
Zimbabwe conducted its first weekly foreign currency auction this month with the local dollar trading at an average of 57.3582 to the US dollar, ending a fixed exchange rate of 25 in place since March.
The southern African country reintroduced its local currency last year after a decade-long use of the US dollar in the economy.
The exchange rate from this week’s auction is 1:72,1470
Consumer to pay more
An Econet-to-Econet call will cost US$0,06 per minute. Currently, the fixed line operator, TelOne charges just under US4 cents per minute and US$2,71 per minute for a call to a landline, up from US$0,94. A call from landline to mobile is now just under US$0,06 and US$4,16 per minute. TelOne data prices are also up.
The operators will charge according to the daily forex exchange rate.
Potraz added: “The Zimbabwe Dollar-denominated tariffs shall be reviewed from time-to-time in line with the auction-determined exchange rate movements, as and when necessary, depending on the magnitude of the movements”.
Economist Persistence Gwanyanya said although the operators will be charging the tariffs in the local currency, the bulk of the costs are in the foreign currency- the US dollar.
“Zimbabwe’s inflation has caused the country’ telecoms companies to increase their tariffs to meet their operating cost,” said Gwanyanya.