HARARE, – The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) on Wednesday slashed voice tariffs by nearly 35 percent to 15 cents per minute with effect from the new year.
In October, Potraz said it has abandoned the COSITU pricing framework – an International Telecommunications Union’s model for the determination of costs and tariffs (including interconnection and accounting rates) for telephone services – in favour of a long run incremental cost (LRIC) model, which will see tariffs progressively coming down in response to what it said was “a public outcry” by consumers.
The new pricing model is seen exerting pressure on a sector battling rising costs, mostly driven by back-up power supplies in the face of rolling electricity outages.
On Wednesday Potraz said charges for voice calls, including Value Added Tax and excise duty, should not exceed 15 cents per minute while calls to fixed and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks will now costs 16 cents. Short messaging services (SMS) will cost five cents under the new price structure.
“The charges are in accordance with the determination that was issued to all operations on October 16 and amended on November 26, in line with the implementation of results of the recently concluded cost studies for telecommunication services conducted by Potraz, in consultation with stakeholders which include concerned operators,” Potraz said in a statement.
The regulator said tariffs will be reduced to 12 cents per minute in 2015, and nine cents in 2016 while the interconnection rate, which has been charged at seven cents for several years, will be reduced to four cents in 2015 and three cents by 2016.
“The Cositu model that was used from 2004 to 2009 was designed for switched circuits and has since been rendered obsolete due to technological and market developments in terms of newer services that are packet-based across the board,” Potraz said. – The Source