Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator reduces mobile data tariffs by 60 percent

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) on Thursday announced that the price of mobile data will now be 60 percent less than the former price. They also added that mobile data charges will now be reviewed annually.

This development follows a just concluded  cost modelling exercise for telecommunication network services in the country covering mobile, fixed and Internet access networks. Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira while addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday said the costing exercise which was done by a German company, Detecon International, the costing exercise by was based on the Long-Run-Incremental Costing (LRIC) models set in 2014 by the same company.

After extensive consultations with telecommunication operators and other stakeholders in 2017, the authority had formulated an implementation roadmap for the LRIC models results.

“The authority took into account the prevailing economic environment as well as the competing needs of ensuring operator viability and service affordability for the consumers

“These need to be balanced to ensure the delivery of high quality innovative services and applications which are critical in enhancing consumer welfare, business continuity and the country’s overall business competitiveness,” Mandiwanzira said.

Cutting the price on mobile tariff promises to increase the country’s Internet penetration rate that was 50.8 percent as at December, the regulator noted. This in turn will make subscribers access to the internet cheaper.

Mobile data in Zimbabwe will now cost 5 cents per megabyte, down from 12.5 cents, exclusive of taxes effective July 1, though “This applies to internet/data that is used outside the WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter bundles, among others,” the Minister said. However, charges by Internet service providers would be determined by the market but imposed a 50 percent cut in the cost of calls between local telecoms companies.