Zimbabwe’s largest mobile phone operator Econet Wireless announced Thursday that it was slashing voice tariffs by about 38 percent from January 1 in line with a directive by the country’s telecommunications regulator.Econet joins two other mobile phone service providers – Telecel Zimbabwe and the state-run TelOne – that had earlier said they would comply with a directive by the Postal and Tele-communications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to slash voice tariffs by nearly 30 percent beginning in January.
“Please note that tariffs have been reduced to 15c/min for Econet to Econet calls and 16c/min to local networks effective 1 January 2015,” Econet said in a notice to subscribers on Thursday.
Before the reduction, the average tariff for all three networks stood at 23 cents per minute.
The POTRAZ directive, which was issued in October, followed a study by regulator which established mobile phone users were being overcharged by more than 30 percent.
According to the report, the tariffs should come down further to about 12 cents per minute later in 2015, before plunging to 9c in 2016.
The move to slash mobile phone rates is welcome relief to overtaxed locals who have been up in arms over the country’s pricing regime which they feel was unnecessarily disproportionate to that obtaining within the southern African region.