In an interview on ZBC TV, the Minister of ICT Supa Mandiwanzira gave his own understanding of the recent suspension of mobile telecoms promotions that were effected by Zimbabwean mobile operators at the beginning of this month.
Mandiwanzira pointed out that while he was yet to meet with the telecoms regulator POTRAZ to get a full explanation for the suspensions, his own interpretation so far was that this could be the regulator’s response to the mobile networks’ attempts to fight a tariff reduction while offering their services at a discount.
He highlighted how the mobile networks had lobbied the government for a postponement of a scheduled tariff reduction at the beginning of this citing the challenging operating environment.
The government accommodated the network operators but despite this, the same operators have been requesting for approvals to promotions that effectively extend tariff reductions that are even greater than what the mobile operators had initially resisted.
This suggests that the mobile operators can afford to provide their services at a lower cost but they want to do it on their own terms.
There has been a huge outcry from mobile telecoms subscribers following the suspension of promotions and this has been compounded by the lack of clarity from the mobile networks and the regulator regarding this development.
With the high costs associated with mobile telecoms in Zimbabwe the promotions and bonuses that the network operators have extended to subscribers have provided some relief especially as economic conditions worsen.