Published On: Mon, Jan 9th, 2017

POTRAZ boss justifies price increase on data bundles

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POTRAZ boss justifies price increase on data bundles

 Beaven Dhliwayo

Harare – Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) says it has a mandate in terms of section 4 of the Postal and Telecommunications Act Chapter 12:05 to ensure sustainable and consistent provision of domestic and international telecommunication services, therefore, the introduction of floor prices will ensure consistent and sustainable long-term provision of services to all Zimbabweans.

The telecoms regulator recently announced that it will be putting into effect a floor price on voice tariffs and data bundles with effect from the January, 9, 2017.

Under the new pricing guidelines, voice tariffs will be set at a minimum of 12 cents per minute while data for all bundles will be priced at 2 cents a megabyte.

The move attracted a lot of criticism because the floor prices makes data bundles more expensive, affecting users that have adopted some of these bundles as a way of managing the already high cost of internet access in Zimbabwe.

POTRAZ’s Director General Dr Gift Kallisto Machengete justified the move saying it is a way of maintaining a balance between service affordability and the viability of mobile operators.

“POTRAZ’s aim is to keep is the price of data as low as possible while ensuring sustainability of the sector and protection of consumers. The Authority’s intention in setting floor prices is, therefore, to maintain a delicate balance between service affordability by consumers and operator viability.

“The Authority is currently carrying out studies to review the cost models used in tariff setting which were designed in 2014 to ensure fair pricing and the results of the study will guide any tariff changes,” he said.