Amid the social media furor over a trending article portraying Zimbabwe as the country with the most expensive mobile data service on the continent,Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has refuted the claims through a statement as the issue rages without letup.
The profile which also appears on a blog called How Much and accessible on the link https://howmuch.net/articles/the-price-of-mobile-internet-worldwide-2019 which also relies on information captured from www.cable.co.uk. claims that Zimbabwe has an average data price of $75.20 for 1GB.
After being inundated with a lot of messages, Potraz issued a press statement dismissing the report on the basis that it contained maliciously twisted content that did not represent Zimbabwe’s circumstances despite it being in dire straits.
“In as much as the information is historical, the authority would like to put it on record that it is a misrepresentation of the Zimbabwe situation even during the period it was published, and as such, it should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” said Potraz.
“As a background to data tariffs review, Zimbabwean Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) reviewed the Out of Bundle mobile data tariffs from US$0.125 per MB to US$ 0.05 per MB without taxes on 1 July 2018. This tariff translates to about US$50 for 1GB of data.”
“The Out of Bundle tariff is the normal cost based tariff that subscribers are charged when they are not accessing any data bundles. It ought to be underlined that data bundle rates cannot go beyond the Out of Bundle tariffs,” added the regulator..
In March this year due to an unfavorable and ever changing business environment
Mobile Network Operators were forced to review mobile data tariffs.This according to Potraz made Zimbabwe one of the cheapest data service providers in Southern Africa.
“Furthermore, the authority reviewed tariffs in March 2019 which saw the Out of Bundle rate being reviewed to RTGS$ 0.05 per MB without taxes. This translates to about RTGS$50 per MB.
“Given the movement in the exchange rate between the US$ and the RTGS$, which now stands at 1US$: RTGS$ 3.2, the US$ tariff for the Out of Bundle data now stands at US$0.016 per MB or US$15.63 for 1GB of mobile data,” said Potraz.
As the exchange rate spirals out of control and massive price distortions reign supreme in the market, consumers are left in quandary as to what awaits them given that the position given by Potraz is not in tandem with the prevailing market conditions.