Home » General » Govt Mulls Further Data Tariff Reduction

The Government is considering a further reduction in mobile broadband rate to ensure access by all users.

In an interview with TechnoMag, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said that broadband access for all will soon be a reality as he wants to see Mobile Network operators (MNO) slash their data tariffs.

The minister said that it was unfortunate that the recent cuts were targeted more at voice tariffs alone.

“I actually think it was problematic for the industry and Potraz to work on a framework based on voice, which is a dying revenue stream, business do not use much voice these days, and I think that the regulator was hoodwinked by the networks not to focus on data but voice, this is where we need to make an impact,” the minister said.

The minister said as Government they would be revisiting the pricing framework with the regulator to ensure that both business and the consumers enjoy access at reasonable prices.

“The whole idea around reducing costs is a Government initiative to make sure that it becomes easy for business to operate, data is where we need to make an impact not voice,” he said.

Mobile network operators have for a long time been charging their consumers heavily to access data with some charging a $1 for 10mb while others are offering 17mb for the same price.

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 contributor to the GDP.

There has been a major upsurge in data service in the country in the last five years with data penetration soaring above 35 percent, which resulted in the country being ranked among the top three fastest developing ICT countries in the world.

The same sharp increase has been felt on the General System Mobile (GSM) voice with current voice penetration of 106 percent although only 60 percent is confirmed to be active users.

This is a ample evidence that demand for mobile connectivity is on the rise in Zimbabwe.

The writer is the editor of TechnoMag, Zimbabwe’s premier technology magazine. More In-depth from www.technomag.co.zw, http:www.technomag.co.zwon http:technom.ageI G. Follow us on Twitter at TechnoMagZw as well as on www.facebook.comtechnomagzw

Source : The Herald