Harare- The constantly rising inflation has seen market players in the postal and telecommunications sector loosing revenue in real terms as operating costs are increasing at a rate that surpasses revenue growth, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s (POTRAZ) first quarter (FY2022) sector performance report has revealed.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a rising inflation, surging to 191% in June 2022, the highest since April last year.

The rise in inflation has been mainly attributed to the effects of the Russia, Ukraine war by authorities, however, economists have cited other reasons such as the devaluation of the local currency and inconsistent policy measures as the major causes.

The rising inflation has resulted in the erosion of revenues of most companies in different industries, with the postal and telecommunications industry not being spared.

In a sector performance report, Potraz Direct General, Gift Machengete said, “The first quarter of 2022 was characterised by growth in both revenues and costs across all market segments.”

During the quarter under review, the fixed telephone network generated ZW$3.71 billion, representing an 18.5% increase from ZW$3.14 billion generated in the previous quarter whilst operating costs increased by 8.5% to ZW$3.17 billion from ZW$2.92 billion in the previous quarter.

Total mobile operator revenues grew by 10% to ZW$28.8 billion from ZW$26.17 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021. The operating cost for the quarter surged by 22.7% to ZW$17.01 billion from ZW$13.87 billion.

The Internet Access Provider (IAP) improved by 11.6% to ZW$10.36 billion from ZW$9.28 billion whilst operating cost grew by 39% to ZW$7.65 billion from ZW$5.51 billion recorded in the previous quarter.

Total revenue generated by the postal and courier sector increased by 38.1% to ZW$656.8 million with operating costs rising by 46% to ZW$586.8 million.

Meanwhile, depressed consumption, foreign currency shortages and credit crunch are among some of the challenges which the sector is facing.

Machengete highlighted that these challenges call for policy and strategic intervention at both sector and national levels.

“Over and above, monetary authorities should consider foreign currency prioritisation of the sector considering the capital intensive nature of the Information, Communication and Technology centre,” he said.

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