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Inflation Puts Calls Out of Reach for Zimbabwe Mobile Users

Like the residents of many developed and developing countries in Africa and around the world, Zimbabweans have embraced the telecommunications revolution.

With three competing cellular phone networks – Telecel, Net One and Econet – and a comprehensive fixed line network operated by state monopoly Telone, Zimbabwe has more than kept pace with its peers among African countries in phone access.

But the country's surging inflation, measured at a 12-month rate of 782% in February, is threatening to bring the country's progress in telecommunications to a halt as the cost of even routine cellular calls becomes prohibitive.

As reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reports, even a busy signal can cost a Zimbabwe mobile user 20,000 Zimbabwe dollars, about 20 U.S. cents at the official exchange rate, or around 10 cents at the parallel market rate.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...