TELECOMS regulator, Potraz, said Wednesday that it had renewed the licence of the country’s second largest mobile phone firm Telecel Zimbabwe after the company committed to complying with the country’s empowerment laws.
Authorities had warned that Telecel’s operating licence would not be renewed until the company – 60 percent owned by Telecel International and 40 percent owned by a local consortium Empowerment Corporation – transferred majority control to locals.
Under the country’s empowerment legislation, foreign companies are required to transfer control of at least 51 percent of their Zimbabwe operations to locals.
Sector leader, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which in May paid US$85m of the $137.5 million to renew its own licence recently took advantage of the stand-off and blocked Telecel subscribers arguing its rival was operating illegally after the firm’s licence expired last month.
But on Wednesday, Protraz said a deal had been reached with Telecel over its shareholding structure.
“Having noted the conclusion of negotiations between the Government of Zimbabwe and Telecel Zimbabwe regarding the renewal of Telecel Zimbabwe national mobile telecommunication licence, the authority hereby advises members of the public that Telecel Zimbabwe’s mobile telecommunication licence has been renewed,” Potraz said in a statement.
“In reaching this decision, the authority, in particular, took note of the commitment made by Telecel Zimbabwe Limited to comply with the requirement to have a local majority shareholding, in line with Section 36 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act, the Indigenisation Act and the Telecel shareholding agreement.”
Meanwhile, the company’s prepaid customers can now spend up to 90 minutes a day talking to family and friends on the Telecel network for just 50 cents per day, if they opt to take advantage of Telecel’s Super Voice Bundles promotion.
Those who really like chatting can opt for a one dollar-a-day voice bundle, which allows them to talk to other Telecel subscribers for up to 200 minutes every day.
To take advantage of this offer, all a customer has to do is dial *146# and select the daily package subscription option. The customer can choose either the 90 minute voice bundle for just 50 cents or the 200 minutes bundle for one dollar.Advertisement
The cost of the bundle is deducted from the subscriber’s main airtime balance. The bundle is valid for 24 hours, after which a further 50 cents or one dollar, depending on the bundle selected, is automatically deducted from the airtime balance, unless the subscriber has opted out of the promotion.
To opt out of the promotion the subscriber follows the same procedure of dialing *146# but then selects the unsubscribe option. The bundles can be used to call any Telecel number at any time of the day or night, even during peak calling periods.
The Super Voice Bundles promotion is the latest of a number of promotions and packages that Telecel has introduced in the course of the year to offer subscribers best value for money.
“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.
“Despite challenges, Telecel remains resolutely focused on ensuring that our subscribers continue to be offered good value for their hard-earned money.
“This promotion is, in many ways, an expression of our appreciation for the continued support that our subscribers continue to give our business, products and services.”
He said the Super Voice Bundles offered unrivalled value.
“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.
“The promotion is made even more unique by the fact that subscribers can call throughout the day and are not limited to off peak periods and can also call from anywhere where they are located,” he said.