Foreign currency billing helps Zimbabwe mobile operators

March 31, 2009 • Mobile and Telecoms

strive.jpgAccording to Kingdom Stockbrokers, a leading market-watcher in Zimbabwe, the ability of mobile phone operators to now charge customers in foreign currency would boost the sector.

Kingdom said billing in foreign currency would provide NetOne, Econet and Telecel with capital to import much needed equipment.

Says Kingdom analyst Chengetai Zvobgo: “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.

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.

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