Zimbabwe telecos look to raise tariffs again

ZIM teleco
tariff update

Operators seek
another increase.

Tuesday, Jan 28th

Zimbabwe piles on extra telecom licensing costs

Zimbabwe piles on extra telecom licensing costs.

Zimbabwe has slapped on a range of additional licensing costs for privately owned telecom firms in the country.

Operators in the country are already expected to pay $137.5 million for 20-year operating licences.

But a government gazette released last week outlines how plans are in place to charge an extra non-refundable application fee at $160,000.

Furthermore, the Zimbabwe government wants an “annual fee payable in advance on or before the anniversary date of the licence” of $2,500 in addition to a $1,000 amount that telecom operators pay each year towards the country’s universal services fund (USF).

The government has previously levied telecom operators 2% of their annual revenues as annual licence fees and about 0.5% of their revenues as a contribution to the USF.

Moreover, additional “private network licence fees” have been backdated to July 10, 2013, says a government gazette.

Zimbabwe’s three private mobile network operators are Econet, NetOne and Telecel. State-owned telecommunication firms TelOne and NetOne are expected to be exempt from the fees.

The move to add on extra costs comes as Zimbabwe’s government revenue collector said it had missed its revenue targets for 2013 by 6%.

However, a research report by MMC Capital released last week said the country’s current $137.5 million licence fees for mobile operators are prohibitive for companies looking to enter the country’s market.

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