Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Zimbabwe - charging in foreign currency

Zim telecoms to charge in forex

Zimbabwe’s telecommunication operators have been given regulatory approval to charge for all their products and services in foreign currency, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.

The newspaper cited industry players as saying that companies in the telecommunications sector had sought the approval in order to stay afloat - as service providers had to run operations funded almost entirely in foreign currency while still earning local currency.

Econet Wireless, the country’s largest mobile service provider, would immediately start charging for all services and products, including airtime and SIM cards, in foreign currency.

According to Econet, 95 percent of the cost of bringing service to its customers was in foreign currency.

However, because of tariffs charged in local currency, the company, along with other telecommunications operators, was increasingly unable to invest in the maintenance of its infrastructure, or to meet other costs critical to the efficient running of the network, the newspaper reported.

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