Econet to resume roaming

Staff Writer

ECONET Wireless says it will immediately resume full international roaming for all its customers.


The move comes after

the waiver by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on roaming services.


Initially mobile operators in Zimbabwe were forced to suspend international roaming because of the critical shortage of foreign currency to settle bills incurred by its customers on foreign networks.


The new RBZ rules require operators to charge for roaming services in foreign exchange.


Econet chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said it was necessary for customers to pay in foreign currency for international roaming.


“When a person travels abroad and are using their Zimbabwe cell phone, they are actually using it on another network. All we do is to arrange a temporary connection as a customer to that other network,” he said. “They are charged for their calls whilst in that country in foreign exchange, then the network sends us the bill. We have no foreign currency to enable us to settle the bills incurred by our customers, that is why we had to stop the service.”


Mboweni said Econet customers wishing to use their cell phones overseas must pay a deposit to the network before they are connected to roam.

He said Econet was not prepared to allow individuals to roam without paying a deposit because of the foreign currency exposure, which could affect the company.


“Foreign currency exposure created by roaming can destroy us as a company because we have to pay those other operators on demand,” said Mboweni.

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