Telecel was the first to raise its mobile data tariffs but unlike Econet it did so reasonably

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Zimbabwe’s recent mobile broadband tariff adjustments which saw a sharp increase in the cost of data before a reversal undersigned by POTRAZ, the telecoms regulator, have created a lot of debate and controversy.

When Econet Wireless, the country’s largest mobile operator adjusted its tariffs in line with the floor price set by POTRAZ the increase kicked up a storm as subscribers voiced their concerns with new steep data prices.

It was viewed by everyone (ourselves included) as the first case of mobile operators complying with POTRAZ’s directive. However, reliable sources close to the matter have pointed out that it was actually Telecel which was the first to adjust its tariffs.

We reached out to Telecel for comment and response on this issue. The operator is yet to respond.

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In December 2016, Telecel reduced the data allowance on its daily bundles by half triggering complaints from its subscribers who were comparing similar packages from the other two operators.

According to sources, this was actually Telecel’s compliance with the directive for new data prices. All operators were aware of the increase and the data of compliance set for the 7th of January 2017 and Telecel, which had lobbied for a lower data price had adjusted its tariffs with a view for further negotiation.

After the tariffs increase was reversed Telecel reverted back to the data bundles prices it had before the adjustment in December.

This information indicates that not only was Telecel was the first operator to make the adjustment, but it also managed to pull it off without causing a furore because its tariff adjustment was somewhat reasonable.

Econet’s adjustment, on the other hand, put a greater strain on its mobile subscribers, with its new data tariffs set at 5 times the figure which was marked as the floor price.

It also places the statement that Econet made in its defence under a certain level of scrutiny. Econet has said that it adjusted its tariffs after realising that other operators were not following suit – a claim that’s now questionable considering that Telecel’s own response to the call for tariff adjustment came before Econet.

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5 Comments

  1. Macd Chip says:

    Nigel, there is nothing reasonable about floor prices, that evil move by Potraz have no justification at all in this day and age. You have regulator plotting against the poor suffering and you call it reasonable?

    Potraz is trying to raise money to sustain Zanu Pf as if the USF they have been collecting is not enough. Econet in their greedy move unintentionally exposed it hence Mandiwanzira is not happy. His ministry will not be the lagest donor to the Party hence his hot air puffing, risking to loose the goodies which comes with such donations.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I also wondered the same. There is nothing reasonable about such greedy tariffs. I imagine that the graph of revenue versus unit price rises from zero to a maximum, plateaus then begins to fall towards zero as unit price goes up. Somewhere on this graph is a maximum revenue point. If you draw a horizontal (revenue) line below the maximum point, you will cut the graph at 2 points. The first point is at a lower unit price (corresponding to high volumes) and the second at a higher unit price (corresponding to low volumes). I believe that most businesses in Zimbabwe are charging on the right (greedy) side of the maximum point. That is why everything is so expensive in Zimbabwe. Most business are not even making the maximum possible revenue because of greedy pricing. I would even venture to say greediness is probably the biggest problem confronting the Zim economy ahead of corruption.

    2. tindo says:

      I think Econet massive increase was done intentionally to expose POTRAZ floor price strategy

  2. Anonymous says:

    How long it it take yoy to realise this. Last week you were saying Econet was the only one that had complied

  3. Reginald Sithole says:

    After following this matter with keen interest for the past few days I can safely conclude that we are all in the dark about what really happened. TechZim included. We are all opining from a position of limited facts.

Comments are closed.