Internet Tariff Hike in Zimbabwe as Government Announces Planned Two Times Voice, SMS and Data Prices Increment in 2022

Internet Tariff Hike in Zimbabwe as Government Announces Planned Two Times Voice, SMS and Data Prices Increment in 2022

The internet tariff hike in Zimbabwe will go from bad to worse by September. In a circular on price modifications, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) outlined what we might anticipate later this year. The most recent changes to POTRAZ’s tariffs were implemented in September 2021. It took nine months to update these tariff changes, which seems excessive given how the ZW$ has fluctuated.

Are you still having trouble understanding the new tariffs after recent price increases by companies like Econet, NetOne, Liquid, and Telone? Well, you’ll have to repeat the process twice more by September this year as the POTRAZ is set to increase charges.

Specifically, the scheduled internet tariff hikes will be seen in:

  • Charges for Mobile, Fixed, and lAP licensed services shall increase by up to 61 % with immediate effect.
  • A further 61% will review charges for the services from 1 September 2022 and an additional 61% from 1 November 2022.

Price hikes are never a cause for celebration. Nevertheless, Zimbabweans will pay the price for the reported 191% year-on-year inflation in June 2022. Only the government enjoys its comfortable position, keeping more than 40 cents of every dollar of sold airtime.

Here is how the internet tariff hike in Zimbabwe will pan out:

Service Current
(ZWL) exclusive of taxes
Proposed tariff
effective 1
September 2022
Proposed tariff
effective 1
November 2022
Mobile On-net calls per minute 7.83 12.61 20.30 32.68
Mobile Off-net call origination per minute 5.35 8.61 13.87 22.83
Interconnection per minute 2.22 3.57 5.75 9.26
SMS per message 1.61 2.59 4.17 6.72
USD per session 1.61 2.59 4.17 6.72
Mobile data per megabyte 1.24 2.00 3.21 5.17
Mobile International call origination per minute 5.76 9.27 14.93 24.04
Fixed On-net calls per minute 4.95 7.97 12.83 20.66
Fixed National Call Origination per minute 3.54 5.70 9.18 14.77
Fixed international call origination per minute 3.68 5.92 9.54 15.36
2Mbits leased line (per month) 46556.78 74,956.42 120,679.83 194,294.53
FTTH Data (per MB) 0.08 0.13 0.21 0.33
ADSL 0.08 0.13 0.21 0.33

Note that taxes are not included in these prices. For example, the approved ZW$12.61 per minute for the recent price increase was ZW$16.12 after taxes. Add that to the above costs to get a better idea of what you will pay this year. That indicates taxes increased the final price by around 28 percent.

Effects of Increased Tariff Cost

The cost of data has become a significant problem for many people and startups in Zimbabwe. People who have access to the internet have the means to launch a business and make a life. It provides individuals with tools to develop their abilities and realize their goals. Additionally, it gives them access to knowledge that will help them sustain their families and take an active role in their communities. These opportunities are lost by the billions of individuals who are still not connected and by civilizations where digital exclusion is still the norm.

Aside from lone subscribers, small enterprises, including startups, are the most impacted. Odunaya Eweniyi, cofounder and COO of the fintech company Piggyvest, mentioned the high cost of data as one of the reasons hurting the success of startups in Africa at a recent World Bank conference.

The ZW$ has been highly volatile over the past few years, with the government’s interventions being the only thing that can keep it under check. As a result, the consumers buy goods at higher-priced parallel market prices than they would at the official exchange rate. The devaluation also affects the affordability of data relative to regular income. If nothing is done on Zimbabwe’s devaluation issues, internet affordability will go from bad to worse.