A POTRACTED legal battle is brewing between Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) over its directive to slash voice tariffs from 23 cents to 15 cents starting January 1, 2015.

Already, Net-One and Telecel have moved to comply with the directive issued in October as part of its agreed Long Run Incremental Cost (LRIC) model crafted by Potraz.

According to a source, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is unwilling to comply with the policy directive and has preferred to mount a legal challenge to the decision.

Meanwhile, Econet has sent a notification SMS to it's susbcribers, a copy of which has been sent to My Zimbabwe News which informs it's subscribers that Econet to Econet tariffs have been reduced with immediate effect.

"Please note tariffs have been reduced to 15c/min for Econet to Econet calls a& 16c/min for local networks effective 1 January 2015," reads the message from Econet.

Although officials from Econet were not responding to questions sent regarding the matter, a top source at Potraz said the country’s largest mobile company in terms of subscription and infrastructure, is reluctant to comply saying the move is aimed at "pulling them down".

"Econet views the move as a target at them as the two other companies have not invested much to improve their services," said a Potraz source.

Initially, Econet took the directive to the courts but the High Court rejected their application, and according to a Potraz official, the firm is not resting and is now taking the matter to the Supreme Court so as to stop the slashing of the voice tariffs.

"As you know Econet has already taken the legal route, it wants to fight up to the last court of appeal available. But they might lose out on customers if they fail to comprehend the issues at stake," the source said.

The move to cut call tariffs takes into consideration savings on network infrastructure investment that the operators are set to gain from a new infrastructure sharing strategy.

In August last year, the largest mobile phone operator, said it will not engage in a tariff war with rivals, as the move would give the impression that the company was under performing.

The group chief executive Douglas Mboweni told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that Econet would invest more into broadband over the next year to counter the continuing fall in revenues from voice services.

"Much of the competition has focused on price slashes. While we will continue to offer competitive promotions, we will not go into an all-out price war with the competition. We believe this is not sustainable," Mboweni said then.

The nation now hopes that Potraz will again exercise its powers to force the network giants to reduce their data (internet) charges, as they are way beyond the reach of many people, especially as compared to what other networks charge in the region.



0#Solo2015-01-01 20:37
Somebody on Zimeye said that there are no price controls in Zimbabwe. Is this not price control? When price controls were effected while Dr Gono was in office the shop shelves were empty. This is another way of cutting off natives from the international community. We don't want to hear, "The number you have dialed is not reachable, please try again later..."
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-1#tambaoga2015-01-01 22:04
Solo ndiyo price control,chaiyo yawataura.pane zvazviri kureva
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0#Fatso2015-01-01 22:05
Some thing some whre is not right here????...lets watch and see.
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+1#selele2015-01-01 22:25
Potraz is right on this one. It is the regulatory authority against law of the jungle capitalism.
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0#zvazviri2015-01-02 09:13
guys lets move away from econet I can start breakaway facebook page kana muchida what do you think
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+1#jonso2015-01-02 13:02
ECONET at one time is a mercy less company. Thieves running behind good works. Their front face is of a sheep, but at their back they use a leopard's face. Other wise in short they are good pretenders.

Can you imagine that at one time we had to sell a cow for you to get a line. What kind of a heart was that? Thanks to Vodafone-South Africa. When they threatened to open their business in Zimbabwe, thats when Econet reduced their lines.
Saka vanhu vacho ivava mukavarega, hameno.
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Baba Two
0#Baba Two2015-01-02 19:57
@Jonso.... that time when people used to sell a cow to buy a line it was in the hyper inflation era where middleman were increasing prices of goods even ten fold. It was not at all Econet. Do your research. The USD exchange rate to the ZImdollar was around 30 at the official rate but on the market it was in the millions. And again, they was still telecel and Netone available....if anyone sold their cow to buy a line then that was their choice, isnt it...noone forced them. Things will always be different and priced as such. All hotels cant be 5 star and one can not get 5 start treatment without paying.
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0#wake2015-01-02 19:42
Trully Econet irikurwadza. Only that its the network that our relatives knows us with. Tichachinja hedu paabaiwa ngaabude apa
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