With the high pricing of mobile data tariffs in Zimbabwe, communicating with loved ones has become an expensive habit to keep.
Traditionally voice calls where the most expensive form of communication, trumping even video and audio calls conducted over a variety of applications and communication platforms which dramatically had lower costs for everything from texting to calling.
Fast forward to the aftermath of the monetary policy and the effects thereof, effectively from 1 March 2019 it was announced that the maximum applicable calling tariffs were pegged at RTGS$0.22 per minute for both on and off-net voice services, and to date this is relatively cheap since for that same amount, there isn’t any available bundle particularly under that price range.
Across the board the cheapest data bundle that subscribers can get is for a dollar as Econet allocates 40MB, NetOne 50MB and Telecel 60MB, and yes! Telecel bundle is cheaper but that is not the point. The issue here is for 60MB you won’t last long enough to actually enjoy chatting over WhatsApp, even worse for NetOne users with data that actually works for WhatsApp Calls they can’t attempt to call or the data will be done for way before the call actually begins.
So this is where the aspect of calling with your $0.22 actually works, because if you have less than a dollar in your account, you can afford to make a call, but you can’t afford to get a bundle.
Ofcourse sms remains the cheap form of communication, its phenomenal success and relevance to date can be attributed to a number of factors chief among them being the most effective way to reach users, with a higher percent read rate in minutes, thereby making it the next best thing when it comes to communication.
Mobile voice traffic has continued to grow, recording a traffic of 1.3 billion minutes nationwide, and with the current pricing of data tariffs the traffic is likely to continue growing as purchasing data is slowly but surely becoming a luxury for most Zimbabweans that are economically strained.