Zimbabwe & other SADC countries set to adhere to standard mobile data tariffs by 2019

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Zimbabwean telecoms, mobile broadband, mobile penetration, smartphone, Zimbabwean telecoms

Zimbabwe and other countries in SADC could soon be setting mobile data tariffs in line with regional guidelines following plans by a regional telecoms body to enforce universal data tariffs across the region by 2019.

This was one of the issues raised at a regional meeting for the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) which is being held in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The meeting which involved a two-day technical session and a two-day session for legal deliberations has convened representatives from Southern Africa’s various telecoms regulators with Zimbabwe represented by POTRAZ officials.

A uniform mobile data pricing framework will involve the regulatory persuasion of mobile operators to set tariffs which strike a balance between consumers’ access of the internet and managing the service providers’ viability.

There have been calls from consumers and activists for the reduction of internet prices with movements like #DataMustFall emerging as a force lobbying for change in countries like South Africa.

In Zimbabwe a mobile data tariff increase effected in January 2017 was reversed following a massive outcry from the public. There are hopes that there will be more done to reduce the cost of data, especially since this has an impact on various aspects of people’s lives.

One response

  1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Those are pipe dreams, unless they all agree on high tariffs for the SADC, there’ll never be uniform prices across the region. Besides that, isn’t that a form of racketeering, much like the OPEC states do? Each country has a unique economy, theoretically data should be cheaper in non-landlocked countries like Mozambique and South Africa, why then would it be uniformly priced with Zimbabwe or Zambia? Data like any other comodity should be a be priced without controls. If we aren’t careful, the next excuse for not lowering tariffs will be that the SADC commission hasn’t reviewed tariffs downwards, so Zimbabwe cannot reduce it’s tariffs.

    #DataMustFall in Zimbabwe was quickly subverted by increasing tariffs, then returning them to what they were. Everyone forgot that they were angry about the old, now current, prices and instead sang praises for the minister for “saving” them.

    Kukanganwa chazuro nehope..!!

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