During our one on one exclusive video interview with the ICT Minister Hon Supa Mandiwanzira, the minister said that broadband access for all will be a reality as he wants to see Mobile Network operators MNO slash their data tariffs.
The minister said that it was rather disturbing to watch the recent voice tariff cuts alone, a move which he said the authorities were hoodwinked into focusing on the trivial issues as voice revenue streams have already dwindled.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe had earlier on challenged the government, taking Potraz to the courts as the seek to reverse the first tariff reduction in Zimbabwe, a move which was dismissed with costs by the court.
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
“I actually think it was problematic for the industry with Potraz to work on a framework for voice, which is a dying revenue maker for the nation, business do not use much voice these days, and I think that the regulator was hoodwinked by the networks not focus on data but voice, this is where we need to make an impact.”
The minister said that as government they will be revisiting the pricing framework with the regulator to make sure that both business and the consumers enjoy access at a reasonable price.
“The whole idea around reducing costs is a government initiative to make sure that it must be easy for business to operate, data is where we need to make an impact not voice”
In Zimbabwe mobile Network operators for a long time have heavily charged data access with Econet and Telecel offering only 10mb for a dollar, except Netone which is giving almost times two with 17mb for a dollar.
The minister said that data is the future and if the sector is not regulated, communication will be hindered posing a threat to the growth of ICTs as access to information is a major drive contributing towards the national GDP.