Yesterday, 12th September 2016, NetOne’s “The One” product disappeared from subscribers menus.
Within the menu, NetOne indicated that the product had been “revised” with the amended data costs taking many subscribers by surprise.
Data costs shot up to $50 for 2GB overnight leaving the public to wonder what exactly happened with “The One” just two weeks after it got launched.
Our initial speculation pointed at an ill-advised financial move by the Mobile Operator, there was no way they could afford to offer the public data at such low prices.
We also played around with the idea that NetOne had ruffled feathers in high places but could not provide any material evidence to support any allegations, but now we do.
We reached out to POTRAZ and this is what they had to say:
The product had been launched without approval and it is the regulator’s job to ensure that only legally approved products are offered to the public
At a time when the regulator had just come from enforcing suspensions on MNOs’ promotions, NetOne stuck out like a sore thumb.
Their product was terminated not revised, what subscribers get now are the basic data products, not “the one”.
We are yet to get clarification from the regulator on what procedures are taken to deal with MNOs that violate their regulations.
It is surprising that NetOne would make such a risky move right under the nose of the regulator.
It is a noteworthy that the regulator is at least trying to level the playing field.