Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has issued its own statement regarding the suspension of data increases, notifying citizens of this action and giving an explanation for it.
In the statement, POTRAZ also called out “some Mobile Network Operators” for not taking ownership of the idea to introduce a floor price. Though not mentioned by name, the statement is directed at Econet, Zimbabwe’ largest mobile network operator.
Econet issued its own statement earlier today, telling subscribers that it felt their pain and that it had introduced the new tariffs in compliance with the regulator’s demands.
This was, however, in conflict with what POTRAZ had highlighted about the new data tariffs. The POTRAZ Director General, Dr Machengete pointed out that the MNOs had been consulted and that they were the ones that suggested the high tariffs in the first place.
Leaked information from POTRAZ’s meeting with the operators also supported this, showing how Econet had actually proposed the high tariffs.
You can read POTRAZ’s full statement below.
REGULATORY DETERMINATION 1 OF 2016 ON DATA FLOOR PRICES FOR VOICE AND DATA ON BUNDLED SERVICES
We refer to the above captioned Regulatory Determination on floor prices for voice and data bundled services and promotions which was issued by the Authority on 7 December 2016.
As the sector regulator, we are concerned and disturbed by the conduct, double standards, negative utterances and refusal to take ownership of the decision by some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). It has become apparent to us that the service providers have decided not own up to the fact that they engaged the Regulator regarding declining revenues which were, according to them, threatening industry viability and service roll out. Infact the MNOs met prior to the issuance of this determination and proposed even higher floor prices through their collective voice, the Telecommunications Operators Association of Zimbabwe (TOAZ).
In its quest to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy quality telecommunication services and maintain the expansion drive towards universal access, POTRAZ positively received the pleas by Operators and eventually agreed to the introduction of a moderated floor price which as envisaged by the Authority would ensure both sector viability and continuous service provision to consumers.
It is clear that this decision has been met with consumer outcry, understandably so, given the current economic challenges. It is against this background that POTRAZ would like to advise consumers and stakeholders in general of its decision to withdraw Regulatory Determination No 1 of 2016 with immediate effect.