As you probably know already, last week Telecel announced through SMS that they would start charging US 10 cents per megabyte for mobile broadband usage. The charging started on May 1. Before that date, mobile broadband on the Telecel network was free for all.
After we asked for clarification on the structure of the mobile broadband tariffs, Telecel told us it was all just part of the test. Testing the billing system that is.
Some two days ago however, we stumbled upon the interesting information that Telecel didn’t seek any approval from the regulator (POTRAZ) to start charging customers. According to a source very close to issues of tariff approval, no communication was made by Telecel to POTRAZ on the intention to start charging customers, no proposed tariffs were sent to the regulator and no approval was issued.
See, all POTRAZ licensees (mobile operators, Internet Access Providers etc…) need POTRAZ’s express approval before they start charging for any telecoms services.
We sought comment from Telecel on Wednesday and reminded them yesterday. We have not received a response yet. If we do, we will post it here.
It’s not that the Telecel mobile broadband tariffs are ridiculously high. No. The US 10 cents per megabyte is average by Zim standards. It’s just that without approval, Telecel must not charge subscribers for usage. Assuming the approval was never granted and you happened to be charged for the internet you used, it will probably mean having the airtime credited to your account.