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Published On: Tue, Dec 23rd, 2014

POTRAZ moves to lower mobilephone tariffs

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airtimeThe Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says it has asked mobile operators to implement the long run incremental cost (LRIC) model from the 1st of January next year to lower call tariffs.

The regulator adopted the LRIC model in order to come up with call tariffs and abandoned the previously used cositu mode.

Cositu is software designed for calculating telephone service costs and it is now outdated.

POTRAZ finance director Biggie Chiripanhura told the ZBC News that the cost modelling exercise was done extensively and operators should begin to implement part of the result of the study next year.

“The tariff might go down significantly and this will result in even more usage. Most of our people will be able to afford and the operators should also benefit from longer call periods so everybody wins,” said Mr Chiripanhura.

The cost modelling study showed that mobile call tariffs are about 30 percent higher than what service providers should charge.

Mobile network operators charge between 23 and 25 cents for a call per minute and a readjustment of 30 percent on their caller tariffs could see subscribers forking out between 16.1 cents and 17.5 cents.

SMS costs are also expected to drop although data tariffs are in a reasonable range.

Analysts say local tariffs are higher than in the region and the move will bring them nearer the regional benchmark.

The averages for other countries are 16 cents in South Africa, 17 cents in Malawi and 15 cents in Tanzania.

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