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Public urged to report mobile overcharges

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THE POSTAL and Telecommunication’s Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) yesterday advised that anyone charged more than the gazetted mobile call tariffs should lodge a complaint with the regulator.

PRIVILEGE SHOKO/
BATANAI MUTASA

Potraz announced it has reduced prices for mobile cellular voice calls with effect from today.

According to a public notice in the press yesterday, consumers should be charged not more than $0,15 per minute on mobile net-on-net calls, $0,16 for national calls to other mobile networks, $0,16 for national calls to fixed and Voip networks, and $0,05 for both net-on-net and cross-network SMS.

Potraz conducted a study in 2014, which revealed that Zimbabwe’s mobile voice customers were being overcharged by up to 30% due to a variety of operational inefficiencies.

The authority adopted a new pricing model to regulate the local industry abandoning the Cositu pricing framework — the 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 model, in response to public outcry by consumers.

Potraz said the Cositu model that was used from 2004 to 2009 was designed for switched circuits and had been rendered obsolete due to technological and market developments in terms of newer services that are packet-based across the board.

In yesterday’s notice Potraz said the new charges in line with the determination that was issued to all operators from October 16 to November 26.

“The cited charges are the implementation of results of recently concluded cost studies for telecommunications services that were conducted by Potraz in consultation with stakeholders, including concerned operators,” the statement reads.

A survey by Southern Eye Business indicated that most mobile service providers were in compliance with the directive.

Telecel and NetOne have over the last month, published statements for reducing tariffs from today.

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