Zim data price falls

By Tawanda Karombo Time of article published Jan 13, 2017

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Harare – Zimbabwe’s new steep data prices have fallen following massive outbursts on social media against the tariff hike, with ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, issuing a directive that mobile operators revert to old promotional data fees.

The ICT Minister, the telecom industry regulator and Econet Wireless – which was the first to implement the new charges – had been at the receiving end of insults and anger from subscribers.

Mandiwanzira said late on Thursday night that he had “directed an immediate suspension of the tariff increases that were effected … to the dismay of many mobile phone users” in Zimbabwe.

The decision to reverse the tariffs had been undertaken in consultation with acting ICT Minister Prisca Mupfumira and senior officials from the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

“I have been told that the new prices were actually proposed by the mobile operators to the regulator. While it is conceivable that the price of data may go up, the margin by which the prices have gone up is shockingly high,” Mandiwanzira said.

Read also: Zim data tariff sparks social media frenzy

The new “floor” data tariffs approved by the Zimbabwe government and implemented this week by mobile operators had been set at 2 cents per 1MB. Econet Wireless, the biggest telco in Zimbabwe had implemented the new charges and was charging $5 for 250MB and 50 cents for 5MB.

On Thursday, senior executives from the country’s telecommunications operators had said they were engaging the regulator on potential reversal of the steep data prices enforced by the regulator.

By Friday morning, all mobile operators had reverted to the old and promotional data tariffs. Econet has limited data bundle charges of 250MB for $1 valid for 24 hours. Telecel Zimbabwe’s previous data bundle options are set at $1 for 300MB but in the past two days it has been advertising for a tariff of $1 for 150MB valid for 24 hours.

NetOne’s OneFusion promotion gives 300MB browsing, 700MB and 900MB for WhatsApp and Facebook respectively for $5.


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