Rising operational costs prompt Econet bundle tariff adjustment

Econet Wireless has confirmed the review of its promotional bundle prices, saying the average 20 percent adjustment effective tomorrow (July 8) was necessitated by rising costs.

“The bundle price adjustment is an average 20 percent uplift across the board, and is essentially in response to rising input costs,” a company spokesman said.

The latest adjustments, which are still below the approved Potraz bundle tariffs, will see a two-minute voice call bundle now going for ZW$10.00, up from the ZW$8.40, while a weekly 30-minute bundle will go from ZW$166 to ZW$180.  

An SMS daily bundle, consisting of five messages, has been reviewed upwards to ZW$2.40, from ZW$2.09, while the weekly bundle, made up of 75 messages, will now cost ZW$30, up from ZW$23.81.  

Econet’s promotional bundle price review, which follows the last review done in March of this year does not include the headline (or out-of-bundle) tariffs, which remain unchanged, with the last adjustment having been made in September last year.

In that period, the price of electricity has gone up by more than 180 percent, while fuel prices have increased by more than 30 percent, between October 2020 and July this year. Diesel went up from an average US$1.00 per litre in October last year, to an average US$1.30 per litre by July this year.

“Electricity and diesel are major cost drivers for our business, and indeed for the industry. However, our tariffs still track behind these and other input costs,” the Econet spokesman said.

According to the reviewed Econet data bundle prices, the Daily data bundle have will now cost ZW$25 for 20MB of data, up for ZW$20, while Econet subscribers will now pay ZW$375 dollars for a weekly 370MB data bundle, up from ZW$288.  

The monthly 8 gigabyte (GB) data bundle has gone up to ZW$2 030.00 from ZW$1 560.00, while a monthly Private WiFi 50GB bundle has been reviewed from ZW$4 800.00 to ZW$6 240.00. The 10GB e-Learning bundle, valid for 30 days, has also been adjusted from ZW$1 720.00 to ZW$2 240.00 
A 20 megabyte (MB) of the Facebook daily bundle will cost ZW$25, up from ZW$20, while WhatsApp users will pay ZW$55 for a daily 45MB bundle, which previously costs ZW$43. Twitter users will now pay ZW$42 for the same 45MB bundle, up from ZW$32.   

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate stood at 106.64 percent in June and 161.91 percent in May, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats).

“Our pricing review is designed to ensure viability of the business and ensure that we continue to offer a reasonable quality of service to our valued customers,” the spokesman said.

A recent Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) report said the telecommunications industry had recorded a 34.1 percent increase in costs in the first quarter of 2021, with costs rising from ZW$7.6 billion, up from ZW$5.7 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of