The protectionist attitude towards telecommunication players instead of allowing them to battle for customers through coming up with enticing customer-centric promotions is far-fetched, an ICT Parliamentary Portfolio Committee member has said.
This was said by Zanu PF Wedza North MP David Musabayana during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on ICT, Postal and Courier Services review on the impact of data price hikes.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira while presenting his oral evidence onto the data saga had mentioned that they had to thwart promotions for the sustainability of the industry.
“Again this thing was being done in relation to expectation of exception of the industry. You see what was being done was a game of snatching one’s clients with others doling out data for free.
“It was bad. I think if we are not responsible and we allow immediate competition instincts we undermine the sector. We have a responsibility to ensure sustainability of the sector.
“When we see that p[people are now killing each other on the front and we see they are not are going to sustain and employ more people we must as a regulatory institution be able to raise the red flag and say what you are doing in the industry is dangerous as you might hurt each other.Musatambe muchidaro (Don’t play like that)
“The role of the regulator is to blow the whistle. If people are now doing free for all sort of thing you need to control. We are not control freaks and we don’t like control, we want the market ton determine pricing…,|” he said,but our market is very tricky…,” he said.
“I think you should reconsider the issue of creating a monopoly in the sector because if you encourage the players and they agree on a certain price then I dont see the purpose of a regulator there. even the price issue that you are talking about saying munokuvadzana (you will hurt one another).
“Imagine in the transport sector kune mabhazi akasiyana siyana the ministry coming in saying musacharga maprice akati, nekuti mupfumi anozokuvadzwa. iwe usacharga yakati nekuti unozokuvadza munenzva (Imagine in the transport sector with many bus companies, the ministry coming in to say you dont charge that much because it will hurt Munenzva, and you should not charge that much because Mupfumi will be hurt, I dont think the ministry should go that far. Allow the organisations to fight for their own space,” he said.
” I believe the ICT sector is set of a blue ocean, its not yet a red ocean. Until we get there then maybe. Allow them to do their promotions. They might be using free data…they are trying to attract the customer but if we say we are setting everything you want to score then you say don’t score now, you can’t score because has just scored in the last five minutes wait for another 10 minutes so that the others will also score, you can’t work like that .
“We want competition. We want the players to fight so that the customers can benefit.
“Unless there are other reasons that you are not telling us, if it is real business allow them to fight, allow them to do their promotions,” he said.