The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe recently released their annual report and in it they disclosed that they fined Zimbabwe’s 3 mobile network operators $93 353.24.
According to our investigation when it comes to penalties operators are granted an opportunity to be heard and they come up with their justifications, some of which can be objective. Operators are also given warnings to improve quality but in some instances they are penalised. The POTRAZ report claims networks were notified frequently:
On a monthly basis, performance statistics were shared with Operators to alert them of their shortcomings. In spite of foreign currency challenges, there was a general positive trend in QoS performance
Market Share dominance has negative consequences
Among the 3 network operators who faced qualities of service fines, Econet was by far the most affected by the fines last year as their penalties amounted to $73 604.28 which is actually 78.8% of the total penalties paid by all 3 network providers. NetOne paid penalties amounting to $10,892.89, whilst Telecel was close behind with a bill of $8,856.07.
It’s not surprising that Econet had to foot a sizeable chunk of the Quality of Service penalties as they have the bulk of the market share. At the end of the the fourth quarter of 2017, Econet had 53.1% of the mobile market share so it’s not entirely shocking that there were more complaints from Econet subscribers as their subscriber base thwarts that of NetOne and Telecel combined.
NetOne’s 2018 bill will be interesting
It will be interesting to see if NetOne’s OneFusion theatrics from earlier this year will see their penalties rising. For a period of about 3-4 weeks users where disenchanted with the network as their data was constantly disappearing. NetOne initially pointed their fingers at Facebook and their servers but eventually they couldn’t. POTRAZ ended up ordering them to reimburse users their data and they complied, so maybe they won’t be paying a quality of service penalty.
Telecel’s disappearing act is worrying
A weird thing I just noticed whilst writing this article is that Telecel is always in the background regardless of the discussion being held. Granted them being at the bottom this list is a good thing for them but they just tend to be the network we have least to say about. The company just seems to be detached from the news cycle and I think this should worry the leadership of the RED mobile network. Telecel’s streak of always being in the background should be a main focus of the board if they are to turn that ship around anytime soon.