BAD NEWS: Mobile networks in Zimbabwe hike tariffs by 200% amid economic struggle!

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Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators are facing a tough time sustaining their operations amidst rising costs and inflationary pressures due to the devaluation of the local currency against major currencies.

As a result, Econet Wireless, the largest mobile network operator, has reviewed its tariffs in local ZWL currency. NetOne, the state-owned mobile operator, also revised its ZWL tariffs last week. The local tariff adjustments vary from 100 to 200 percent, with Telecel, the third mobile network operator, expected to follow suit soon.

With the local currency depreciating by 647 percent against the US dollar this year, mobile network operators are facing immense pressure, as their input costs are mostly denominated in foreign currency. The sector, which is already struggling to maintain profitability, is hoping that the tariff increase will help it maintain operational viability.

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In its latest financial results, Econet recorded a whopping $16.99 billion loss in the full year to February 28, 2023, after incurring exchange losses of $77 billion. Meanwhile, Telecel has been placed under judicial management after being declared insolvent.

With the economic challenges besetting the industry, the mobile networks’ tariff hike seems to be the only way out to stay afloat.

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