The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of
Zimbabwe would like to advise the public to ignore a misleading
infographic circulating on social media that is portraying
Zimbabwe as having the most expensive data tariffs in Africa,
with 1 Gigabyte (GB) of mobile data costing USD75.20.
This emanated from a study done in 2019 by howmuch.net that is
published on the cable.co.uk website. 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infographic is outdated and inaccurate as it does not reflect the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.
Data collected from the Country Reports of the Communication
Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) for 2019,
reveals that the tariffs for mobile data that were used for
comparison purposes in the deceptive study, are not in sync
with charges that were obtaining in some SADC countries in
Table 1 below shows a comparison of the out-of-bundle
mobile data tariffs inclusive of taxes for some SADC countries
against what is published on the cable.co.uk website;
Table 1: Out-of-Bundle Mobile Data Cost Benchmark (inclusive
From Table 1 above, it is glaring that the circulating report is
flawed and not reflective of the true situation on the ground.
Accordingly, this report must be dismissed with the disgust and
contempt it deserves by a nation that is seeking to find its
economic space in the world, through attracting investment
into the country.
Furthermore, it is also pertinent to disclose that the same
organisation conducted another study in 2020 which is
published on their website www.cable.co.uk. The 2020 study
excluded Zimbabwe, due to confusion and problems with
currency and exchange rate conversions on the part of the
researchers, which did not allow for meaningful comparison.
This could have been the same problem that gave the wrong
prices for data for Zimbabwe in the 2019 Survey.
As a way forward, POTRAZ has done computations using the
official exchange rate in order to compare with results from the
2020 study published on the cable.co.uk website. The
computations show that retail mobile data tariffs in Zimbabwe
are relatively cheaper and comparable within the SADC region
and beyond as shown in Table 2 below:
From the above table, it is clear that mobile Internet /data
tariffs in Zimbabwe are relatively cheaper and comparable to
those obtaining within the SADC region.
POTRAZ would like to assure the nation of its committment to
continue enhancing data affordability for all citizens whilst at
the same time ensuring operator viability. This is a delicate
balance that requires concerted effort, including fiscal
intervention to address declining disposable incomes.
part, POTRAZ has endeavoured to balance service affordability
and operator viability by ensuring that tariffs are cost based
using scientifically accepted costing methodologies to
determine the cost of providing services including mobile
Internet/data. Resultantly, out-of mobile data tariff thresholds
have reduced significantly over the past decade from USD0.18
per megabyte (USD180 per Gigabyte) in 2010, to the current
USD0.0155 per megabyte (US15.50 per Gigabyte). Table 3
below shows the movement of out -of bundle data tariff
thresholds approved by the Regulator inclusive of taxes in
Zimbabwe from 2010 to date.
Table 3: Out- of- Bundle Mobile Data Tariff Thresholds in USD
(including all taxes)
In conclusion, it is not true that Zimbabwe has the highest data
tariffs of USD75.20 as portrayed by howmuch.net and the
cable.co.uk website in their flawed study results of 2019. The
highest price for Mobile data tariffs per Gigabyte in Zimbabwe
was equivalent to USD20 in 2019. This has since reduced to
USD15.50 since September 2020 to date.
We take this opportunity to urge our valued stakeholders to
verify all information on Postal, Telecommunication and Courier
Services with us before treating it as fact as some may be
malicious and intended to induce panic.