Supa Mandiwanzira moots lowering tariffs

Supa Mandiwanzira moots lowering tariffs
Published: 12 May 2018 (1492 Views)
Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security, Supa Mandiwanzira, has said government is undertaking research to ascertain the real cost of data in the country following an outcry from users that operators were fleecing their clients through exorbitant charges.

The move to undertake the research follows a recent report by South Africa's Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) which ranked Zimbabwe as having the second most expensive data tariffs in the region, after Botswana.

In an interview, Mandiwanzira said the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) was in the process of undertaking a comprehensive survey with a view to striking an amicable deal with operators to review their data tariffs.

"Following a huge outcry by consumers over the cost of data, Potraz has been carrying out a survey to understand the real cost of data in the country because there have been quite some genuine concerns that the operators are over charging and they are also misrepresenting the cost of their charges," Mandiwanzira said.

Mandiwanzira said government was currently in a gridlock with operators who were insisting that the high tariffs were justified.

"Service operators continue to insist that they the tariffs are reasonable yet compared to other countries, Zimbabwe ranks among the highest," said Mandiwanzira.

The report by ICASA analysed tariffs offered by service providers in Zimbabwe and in the region, zeroing in on the prices of the 500MB, 1GB and 2GB data bundles in each country.  

The ICASA report states that in the category of 1GB data basket, Zimbabwe has the most expensive mobile data tariffs with 1GB (1gigabyte) and 2GB (2gigabyte) of data costing US$30 and US$50 respectively.

Results of the ICASA report were also in tandem with the outcomes of another survey undertaken by the Cape Town-based Research Information Communications and Technology Africa (RIA) which also revealed that Zimbabwe's price for 1GB of data increased by 50 percent from US$20 last year to US$30 by the end of the last quarter in 2017.

Attempts by Potraz to introduce a floor price for all operators for internet charges to align with region and international data trends was received with mixed emotions by members of the public and operators.

Potraz had set traditional voice services at 12 US cents per minute and data at 2 US cents per megabyte.

A floor price is a government or group imposed price control or limit on how low a price can be charged for a product.

The thinking behind the introduction of the floor prices was meant to address the apparent mismatch between the rate of growth in data traffic and data revenues to ensure the viability of operators.

Telecommunication experts say the fact that Zimbabwe has the most expensive data in the region can be attributed to numerous factors such as economic instabilities and having very few telecommunications service providers operating in a low population country compared to countries like South Africa.

Compared to South Africa, Zimbabwe has three major service providers - Econet, Telecel and NetOne -- aiming to make enough profit out of a population of around 16 million.

South Africa has a population of around 55,91 million people with four major internet providers - MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom, among others.

The ICASA report states that South Africa mobile tariffs are below average price of all prices in the region.

"SA does not have the most expensive prepaid data bundle prices for 500MB, 1GB and 2MB in the SADC region. It is also not the cheapest, however, its prices are below the average price of all the SADC prices across the category," reads part of the ICASA report.

South Africa's most expensive 1GB of data is priced at $12.04 and is relatively lower than neighbouring Swaziland where data costs $20.02.

The DRC has the cheapest mobile data tariffs across all three categories, with data costing only US$2.38 followed by Mozambique which charges only US$2.70 per 1GB.

Malawi and Namibia charge US$6.7 and US$7.6 per 1GB of data respectively.

The ICASA report is part of the comprehensive study that the South African regulatory company is undertaking as part of its regulatory initiatives towards addressing data prices following the #DataMustFall Campaign in that country last year.

 
Cost of data per 1 Gigabite in some SADC countries

 Botswana US$18.02
DR Congo US$2.38
Namibia US$7.60
Malawi US$6.70
Mozambique US$2.70
South Africa US$12.04
Swaziland US$20.04
Zambia US$10.30

- southerntimesafrica

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Man loses 'Toyota Raum' to robbers

by Simbarashe Sithole | 21 September 2018 | 206 Views

International media stampede to interview Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 21 September 2018 | 268 Views

Brutalising vendors must stop

by Jacob Mafume, MDC National Spokesperson | 21 September 2018 | 195 Views

I doubt if Dabengwa really endorsed Mnangagwa - Mthwakazi activist

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 196 Views

Marc Cayeux gives everyone hope after top ten finish in Cape Town

by Agencies | 21 September 2018 | 116 Views

President Mnangagwa debuts at UNGA

by Bevan Musoko | 21 September 2018 | 171 Views

BREAKING: Harare - Johannesburg Intercape bus in accident, 10 people dead

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 329 Views

Stop unnecessary traveling to cholera affected areas - MIHR

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 131 Views

We need Mthwakazi restoration soon

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 130 Views

Rural development agenda should be on the priority list

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 124 Views

IMF offers to help Zimbabwe clear arrears

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 243 Views

Mugabe's party rejoins Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 249 Views

Streak seeks ZC liquidation

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 155 Views

'Chamisa must not waste time fighting Mnangagwa'

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 260 Views

Chipanga appeal thrown out

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 189 Views

New minister cracks the whip

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 195 Views

Deal decisively with Parly delinquents

by Zvamaida Murwira | 21 September 2018 | 156 Views

Mthuli Ncube faces tough choices

by Lovemore Chikova | 21 September 2018 | 180 Views

Currency reform answer to Zimbabwe's economic woes

by Bongani Ngwenya | 21 September 2018 | 164 Views

Dabengwa ditches Chamisa, endorses Mnangagwa?

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 169 Views

Sibusiso Moyo alive & well

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 149 Views

'Mugabe University not a priority'

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 144 Views

Chamisa battles open rebellion

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 169 Views

Prophet up for pregnant woman rape

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 103 Views

Bulawayo pins hopes on devolution

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 97 Views

Nust shut down

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 154 Views

Zimbabweans want US or Zim dollar only, not SA Rand

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 151 Views

Chamisa's MDC Alliance starts merging into single party

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 102 Views

Vic Falls man hangs self after bar brawl

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 88 Views

Cholera hits Beitbridge

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 86 Views

Cop up for assault

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 57 Views

Gumbura hires Madhuku to challenge delayed trial

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 68 Views

Devolution will develop provinces with natural resources

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 58 Views

Family evicted, dumped in the bush

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 55 Views

Soul Brothers coming to Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 118 Views

Zimbabwean scientist wins Cambridge scholarship

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 59 Views

MDC Alliance activist jailed over arson threats

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 47 Views