The data wars have escalated, but this time in a different direction altogether as mobile network operators take each other down in a competition to avail the most affordable data packages in Zimbabwe.
Econet and NetOne have been quietly increasing data packages, few weeks after a national outcry over expensive data tariffs, and it seems we are heading exciting times as two of Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network continue to drop data tariffs.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has taken a little step ahead to lead all mobile networks, under its *143# menu, with its $2 per 1gig offer, which is exactly what NetOne is now offering, but doubled the offer for a $3 purchase with a whopping 2Gigabytes, much to subscriber enjoyment.
It seems the mobile network is flexing its muscle to really show what it can offer, backed by its sister company Liquid Telecom, an Internet Access Provider.
Zimbabweans had previously blamed Econet for being too stingy and not considering the customer plight during the last data wars, but this current move only goes to prove how much they can really offer given the same platform.
It is however not clear how long they can keep the promotion, or sustainable that is as a business model, but the main message is more data connectivity to the consumer between now and the next time the government is actually going to raise a red flag.
The telecommunications regulator, Potraz had cited some data prices discrepancies, claiming that the operators are actually running on a loss, as the past prices are unsustainable, courting the government through RBZ to bail out operators on internet landing rates.
However the move was said to be over-regulatory by members of the parliament during a parliamentary portfolio review, led by Nelson Chamisa.
It is likely that the government will once again act to create a new price floor, if at all these competition behaviour is “killing” the industry