- Study by howmuch.net stated that Zim tariffs were over US$75 for a GB of mobile data
- POTRAZ claims actual price is less than 80% of that
- Claims howmuch.net study was distorted by exchange rate confusion
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has issued a statement refuting market sentiments purported by a study done by financial research and analytics firm, howmuch.net that Zimbabwe’s had the most expensive data tariffs in Africa.
An infographic from the study which was published by on the cable.co.uk website which has been widely circulated on social media showed and claimed that the country’s out-of-data tariff for 1GB of mobile data was a whooping US$75.20.
POTRAZ denied this pricing and further claimed that the displayed pricing was not only inaccurate but also outdated as it is from 2019.
“The circulated infographic is outdated and inaccurate as it does not reflect the true state of affairs during 2019 as well as what is obtaining now in Zimbabwe and other SADC countries,” POTRAZ’s Director General, Dr. Machengete stated.
The claimed distortion is believed to have emanated from a confusion on currency and exchange rate conversions on the part of the researchers which led to them excluding Zimbabwe in the same study in 2020.
The Regulatory body went on state that mobile data tariffs in Zimbabwe were actually 80% less than the claimed figure at US$15.50 per gigabyte according to the Country Reports of the Communication Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) for 2019.
“The highest price for mobile data in tariffs per gigabyte in Zimbabwe was equivalent to US$20 in 2019. This has since reduced to US$15.50 since September 2020 to date,” reiterated POTRAZ.
POTRAZ also claims that comparisons of the CRASA report and the howmuch.net show that distortions in tariffs were also witnessed for South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Eswatini, Botswana and Mozambique.
In light of the volatile macroeconomic situation in Zimbabwe, POTRAZ implemented an inflation linked pricing system based on a specific price index for the Telecommunications Sector which is referred to as the Telecommunications Pricing Index (“TPI”).
This pricing system takes into account telecommunication operator costs to determine a viable tariff to ensure operational sustainability whilst balancing the need to keep telecom services affordable for consumers.
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