Natasha Chamba, Business Reporter
LEADING telecommunications company, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has announced an increase of between 10 and 40 percent in tariffs for roaming, international outbound calling and SMS services effective yesterday.
In a Press statement issued yesterday Econet said the tariff changes were informed by last week’s Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Monetary Policy Statement, which officially stated that RTGS balances, bond notes and coins were no longer at par with the United States dollar (USD).
The apex bank has since introduced an interbank foreign currency trading system with the US dollar pegged at 1:2,5 against the RTGS dollars as at Friday, February 22, 2019.
“The Monetary Policy Statement announced by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on the 20th of February 2019 designated RTGS balances, bond notes and coins as RTGS dollars, effectively differentiating the same from any other currency within the multicurrency system we operate in,” said Econet.
“The RTGS dollar is an acceptable legal tender and medium of exchange in Zimbabwe, which trades at an exchange rate as defined on the interbank settlement system. We have certain services that require direct settlement in foreign currency, roaming services, international outbound calling and SMS services.
“In the circumstances, to enable Econet Wireless to provide the services above please be advised that with effect from midnight 26 February 2019, the charges for roaming and international outbound calling and SMS services will be adjusted to reflect the movement in the exchange rate as determined on the interbank settlement system.”
Roaming tariffs, which averaged a dollar per minute to receive a call, has been pegged at $1, 10 in South Africa and $1,13 in Botswana.
The telecoms giant said calling Zimbabwe on roaming from the United States of America was now $10,78 per minute and to receive was $1, 20 per minute .
International calling tariffs including VAT in Botswana are now pegged at $1,13, South Africa $1,10, Zambia $1,55 while USA, Canada, China and the United Kingdom are at $1,20, said Econet. Meanwhile, all international SMS tariffs including Vat are now $0,30.
“This is not a change in tariffs. The applicable tariffs for these services remain unchanged. We are simply recognising the impact of the movement in the exchange rates from 1:1 to the interbank rate as determined by the market for services that are directly procured in foreign currency,” said Econet.