TNM subscribers will have to dig deeper into their pockets come August 1 2012 as the telephone companyâ€™s base tariffs have been adjusted by an average of 19.5 percent.
In a statement released on Monday, TNM has attributed the upward revision of tariffs to the exchange rate adjustments which have resulted in increased cost of utilities, goods and services.
“The recent exchange rate adjustments and subsequent rise in the cost of utilities, goods and services, resulted in the direct increase in major parts of our expenditure. It is essential for TNM to maintain the profitability of the business to support our continued investment programme in telecommunications infrastructure in Malawi.
“TNM will be investing more than $20 million (K5 billion) per annum over the next five years, to expand our coverage and upgrading the older infrastructure. TNM must, therefore, operate on the correct level of profitability to be able to fund these expansions,” says TNM chief executive officer Willem Swart in a statement.
Calls made during the peak hours from one TNM subscriber to another will be billed at K52.20 per minute whereas the off peak rate stands at K28.20 per minute.
Calls made during the peak periods from TNM subscribers to any local network will cost K64.80 and during off peak periods they will be K32.30 per minute.
TNM has maintained the cost of sending text messages at K10 per SMS as the standard data tariff remains unchanged too at K10.24 per megabyte.
Swart also said the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed company has consistently reduced tariffs in the past two years, to the advantage of its customers.
“During the period from the year 2010, TNM to TNM calling tariffs have been reduced by 22 percent. TNM is proud of the fact that during this period, our tariffs on most products were the most affordable in Malawi. TNM will continue to apply this strategy to give more benefits to subscribers,” he says.
Earlier this year, TNM announced that the $20 million investment would help the company increase their penetration and trigger tariffs drop.
“Our priority at this stage is to spend money on reducing redundancy and sustainability of the core network system. We have 80 massive computer savers running in the core network. All of that needs to be duplicated in different locations so that whatever disaster that may strike, we should have network continuing,” the CEO said.
He added that the company plans to boost network capacity to meet the demands of their growing subscriber base, with a plan to continue rolling out coverage in commercially viable areas and also invest heavily in areas that are not commercially viable.