Econet mulls data bundle tariff adjustment


HARARE – Zimbabwe’s largest mobile telecommunications company Econet Wireless is understood to be considering a data bundle price adjustment in the wake of mounting costs and rising inflation.

A source within Econet yesterday confirmed the company was likely to review its data bundle prices by about 50 percent soon, in line with growing costs and inflationary pressures.

“We will be reviewing our data bundle prices and it could come in a week or two, if not earlier. The price of our data bundles are, on average, currently the lowest on the market right now,” the source said.

The company’s main data bundle prices are indeed currently lower than those of its competitors in the mobile industry.

It is thought the planned bundle price adjustment will bring its data tariffs at par with those of NetOne and Telecel.

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) approved data bundle price increases of up to 190 percent in early August, but Econet only implemented an increase of about 50 percent, leaving it with the headroom to adjust the pricing further at a later date.

Zimbabwe’s inflation rose to a 10-year high of 837 percent in July, after prices of goods and services took a spike due to the impact of drought, foreign currency shortages and the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Bundles are discounted promotional offers with a validity period, that local telecom operators offer their customers at prices within an approved threshold by the industry regulator. The bundles, which are applied to voice, data and SMS products, range from daily, weekly and monthly bundles.

Earlier this year, the Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete told Parliament that the country’s data tariffs were lagging behind regional markets.

“As Potraz we have also considered the costs of the operator first so that they keep on running and after that we have been tracking the cost of data before we come up with the tariffs. We do not just put up tariffs,” he said.

The regulator now uses a pricing model called the Telecommunication Price Index (TPI) to help maintain operator and industry viability, and ensure sustained provision of telecommunication services in the country. – Herald