The outbreak of zeros on the country's struggling currency has caught up with Zimbabwe's mobile networks, with Net*One saying escalating tariff charges had hamstrung the production of airtime vouchers.
The mobile network said it was now re-configuring its Easycall pre-paid platform to enable the generation of higher value vouchers.
“The current system is limited to generation of an air time voucher card valued at no more than $99.99 million. The re-configuration exercise, when complete, should see an airtime voucher worth several billions of dollars for the convenience of our customers,” the Net*One said in a press statement.
It said the requirement had been necessitated by the recent tariff increases.
Meanwhile, to evade the bother, the network had introduced five-fold airtime vouchers, which have five by Z$99.99 million worth of airtime. This means subscribers have to load their airtime five times per voucher.
Rampant inflation has led to the accumulation of zeros on the country's currency, with the cost of basics now running into billions of dollars while assets like radios and televisions and even mobile phone handsets are now valued at trillions of dollars.
Telecel, the smallest of the country's three mobile networks, has taken the easy way out, lopping off zeros from its vouchers to avoid having to re-configure its pre-paid platform.
In a notice to subscribers, Telecel said, “Please note your prepaid airtime is now stated without six zeros. Juice cards (vouchers) will still reflect the full face amount”.
For example, its lowest denomination voucher of Z$5,000,000,000 is loaded as Z$5,000 on the phone.
Dumisani Ndlela is a Zimbabwean journalist specialising in business and financial reporting, with experience reporting on commodities, stock and financial markets, advertising, marketing and the media. He has previously reported from a number of regional countries as well as from the UK and Germany on commodities and regional integration. He can be contacted on .
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