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Thursday, July 18, 2024

POTRAZ justifies increase of data tariffs, consumers not amused

Story by Farai Gwaze

CONSUMERS are up in arms with mobile telecommunication operators for poor service delivery characterised by poor internet connectivity.

The issue has been compounded by recent data tariff increases which many believe are unjustified.

After the recent increase of tariffs by 100 percent in the local currency, the public is not amused with the majority expressing concern over poor service delivery by mobile operators and data service providers.

“Network is a huge problem and thebdatabruns out fast, one has to contnuosly restart their gadget to get a connection,” said a member of the public.

Another said, “To me it seems like a monopoly, they just hike up their prices and service is slow, I don’t know how the government can intervene so that we get reprieve.

In a statement, POTRAZ Director General Dr Gift Machengete argues Zimbabwe has the cheapest mobile data in the region.

According to the regulator, the increase was justified to ensure viability of the sector as costs of providing telecommunication services in the country have gone up.

“Finally, we continue to come across posts purporting to draw evidence from a UK [United Kingdom] website, that Zimbabwe has the most expensive data tariff in the world at US$43,75 per gigabyte (GB).

“We reiterate that this is not only false, but misleading and malicious. As a matter of fact, and contrary to that report, Zimbabwe has the lowest data tariff in the SADC region, with an out-of-bundle tariff of ZWL$14 930, which translates to US$3,21 per GB at the September 2023 official exchange rate, while the SADC average is US$4,60,” reads part of the statement.

However, the regulator implored internet service providers and mobile network operators to improve their operations.

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