Zimbabwe's leading mobile operator Econet Wireless has introduced an online facility that allows expatriates to buy airtime for friends and relatives back home.
Econet sent out text messages advising its subscribers Monday to “tell your loved ones that they can now send you Buddie airtime from overseas."
The airtime is sold on the Ezetop website.
Ezetop is an international mobile top-up company that sells airtime on behalf of hundreds of mobile operators across the world, targeting mainly people in the diaspora.
It works in the same manner as money transfer companies - Moneygram and Western Union – the main difference though being that Ezetop deals in airtime transfers.
After a purchase, the company delivers the recharge to the intended recipient via SMS with redeeming instructions.
Econet announced last month that its subscribers had grown to $7.05 million, and that its operating revenues had increased to $339.5 million in August, up from $290.8 million over the same period last year.
Independent economic analyst Masimba Kuchera told VOA that Econet’s mobile recharge facility could bring the company more profits.