Review mobile data charges, committee tells Zimbabwe telecoms regulator

Harare-The  parliamentary committee  of ICT Postal  and Courier Service has called on the Postal  and Telecommunications  Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) to review  the data tariff charges that are being charged by  telecommunications companies  in the country and reduce  them to affordable prices.

Chairperson of ICT committee Charlton Hwende demanded to know from Potraz director general   Gift Machengete on why the regulator allowed mobile data charges to be increased by the telecommunications companies.

“We  are  concerned as a committee that  we have noticed an increase  on the date  tariff  from the telecommunications  companies  for their  services  and we understand that  you sanctioned it.  Can please make sure that you meet with the companies and revise the charges down,” said Hwende.

Machengete said he was going to be engage the firms to discuss the issue on the need to review the data tariff downwards.

He argued that the data tariffs increase were in line with the trend happening in the mobile sector in the SADC region.

“The mobile data tariff for  Zimbabwe  are  comparable to other SADC regions  tariffs , as our Out of Bundle Data Tariff is costing  0,06 cents which is lower to other  SADC  countries like Malawi  costing  0,044 cents.

“The data bundle were on a promotion in the country for all the data service providers and this is why now the prices have gone up since the promotion is over. But  we  are going to engage them  so that  the tariff will go down  as the members of public can no  longer  afford  to purchase the data bundles,” said  Machengete.

Owing to the shortage of foreign currency and a deteriorating economy mobile operators increased tariffs and it received widespread condemnation from subscribers.

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