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BizDay Zimbabwe

Battlelines drawn

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As the fight for market share among mobile phone networks in Zimbabwe intensifies, it is the customers who are emerging the winners as the three networks bid to outdo each other.The battle to win and maintain subscribers in the mobile phone industry continues as the three GSM operators in Zimbabwe offer subscribers more cost-effective benefits.

According to statistics released by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in March this year, the country’s largest mobile telecommunications operator Econet had eight million subscribers followed by Telecel at 2,6 million and then NetOne with two million.

Econet Wireless has slashed the cost of calls to other networks by a massive 60 percent becoming the first deepest tariff cut ever introduced on the market while Telecel Zimbabwe has its Super Voice bundles and NetOne is running its US$1 a day promotion since last year.

Econet said the new tariff was “unconditional” and would be “effective immediately on all packages and at all times of the day”.
The company’s chief executive, Mr Douglas Mboweni, said all Econet customers would now also enjoy Buddie Zone tariffing with discounts of up to 90 percent.

Mr Mboweni said Econet will mount an extensive campaign to show that it not only has the cheapest tariffs but it also has the best value for money.
“Our tariffs are unconditional and we do not ask you to buy something extra or spend so much to get something. When we give, we give.

“We are not the largest operator by accident. Our customers know that the value that we give them in terms of coverage, network quality, services, products and tariffs cannot be matched,” he said.

He also dismissed the notion that his company was afraid of competition.
“We have the cheapest tariffs and it will remain that way. We have the best coverage and we will continue to broaden it. We also have the largest range of products and services and we will keep investing and introducing more,” said Mr Mboweni.

However, the company recently launched its US$1 for 10 minutes which telecoms analysts say it is an underwhelming promotion.
“It’s not easy looking a gift horse in the mouth. See, we love cheaper voice and data so do not get us wrong. We like that Econet is offering new cheaper stuff as a mobile operator. It’s new from them but not new in this market, and in fact compared to what’s already on the market,” said the analyst.

Telecel’s Super Voice Bundles promotion is also another recent offering in the market offering subscribers huge discounts.
“Like all our promotions, the Super Voice Bundles promotion is intended to ensure that our customers can connect with one another affordably on our quality network,” Telecel chief commercial officer Ashraf El Guindy said.

He added: “The value being offered by the Super Voice Bundles is unequalled on the market. The bundles, which offer as much as 200 minutes for a single dollar, give our subscribers real value for their money,”

NetOne has its dollar a day which has won the hearts of many Zimbabweans as it allows subscribers to make unlimited calls for just a dol­lar a day. However, this does not take away the huge cost saving for subscribers.

“It’s an unbeatable offer as you will be talking beyond limit. Recharge US$1 to get US$13,80 free on NetOne to NetOne calls,” says NetOne in its long running promotion. Herald

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