THE government has ordered Net*One not to effect any further tariff increases until January next year, businessdigest learnt this week.
According to information gathered, the government-owned cellular network operator, which is currently scouting for a foreign investor, was informed of the six-month tariff freeze last month.
Net*One marketing and public relations manager Smart Dube referred all questions to managing director Reward Kangai when contacted for comment.
Efforts to obtain a comment from Kangai were fruitless.
Sources said the tariff freeze could result in Net*One losing billions of dollars as the cost of maintenance, repairs and imports of equipment continued to rise under the country’s inflationary environment.
The mobile telecommunication company increased its tariffs a fortnight ago.
A local call made during peak periods on the Net*One platform now costs between $25 235 and $45 291 per minute. Off-peak calls would see subscribers being charged between $21 450 and $38 497 per minute. Previously, Net*One was charging between $16 000 and $22 000 per minute.
Charges for local, cross network and international short message services (SMS) have been set at $12 000, $15 000 and $13 500 per message respectively.
The charges for all the networks vary according to the type of product used.