Dollar billing favours Zimbabwe mobile operators

HARARE – Billing in foreign currency is a major boost to the mobile phone operating networks in Zimbabwe. Kingdom Stockbrokers, a leading market-watcher in Zimbabwe, said the drive favours NetOne, Econet and Telecel with capital to import much needed equipment to improve services.\r\n

Kingdom analyst Chengetai Zvobgo said in a report on itnewsafrica.com that: “The granting of permission to mobile phone operators to charge airtime in foreign currency will, therefore, assist them raise foreign currency for the importation of much needed equipment.”

Foreign currency shortages have in the past stalled the growth of the ICT sector in Zimbabwe, with mobile operators being unable to expand their coverage or import technology, the report added.

Zvobgo continued: “The telecommunications sector has also not been spared from the current difficulties the economy is going through. Foreign currency shortages in the economy for the importation of the necessary equipment, has severely militated against mobile phone companies’ efforts to expand their networks by installing more base stations and absorb more customers. This has resulted in poor service delivery due to network congestion and acute shortage of network lines.”

Recently, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Communications and Technology, Nelson Chamisa expressed hope of a revival of the sector.