Zimbabwe’s Econet Shuts Down Post-Paid Platform

Zimbabwe’s drastically inflationary economic environment has forced the nation’s biggest telco, Econet Wireless, to cancel contract line arrangements, forcing post-paid subscribers to pay in advance for roaming and talk time.

Local companies are struggling under the pressure of continuous fee increases to contain the effects of inflation. In addition to the rapidly increasing fees are the daily power cuts and challenges with foreign currency.

Now Econet Wireless has cancelled contract line arrangements for its customers and placed them on a pre-paid platform.

In a correspondence to contract subscribers sent out on 26 November 2019, the acting Chief Operations Officer for Econet Wireless, Kezito Makuni said that Econet requires that all subscribers pay for usage in advance.

He added that the amount paid would be credited to the subscriber’s account and would ensure that the customer receives uninterrupted service during the upcoming month of usage.

The company had initially said that the date for the start of the migration from post-paid to pre-paid would be 1 December 2019 but has now rescheduled it to 1 February 2020 to allow subscribers to plan accordingly for the advance payments.

Earlier this month Econet had declared that it would terminate the post-paid packages until the current operating environment changes for the better.

Other telecom executives say that the current voice tariffs are sub-optimal as they cannot keep up with the steep inflationary surge in Zimbabwe. The telecoms regulator requires that the government approves all voice tariff increases.

A telecom executive said that this is a reasonable move which is in response to Zimbabwe’s economic conditions and inflationary pressures. He added that the billing cycle for contract lines didn’t make sense because, by the time a telco billed and collected the revenue, the amount would have been eroded by inflation.


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