THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has dismissed reports that the country has the most expensive internet charges in Africa.
In a statement, POTRAZ Director General, Gift Machengete indicated that the contrary is true as Zimbabwe has one of the lowest data charges on the continent.
POTRAZ say they were drawn to a trending social media article purporting to be profiling the cost of data across the African continent.
The profiling portrays Zimbabwe as the most expensive country in terms of Mobile data service, with an average price of $75,20 for 1GB, a price which is overstated by US$55.
The profile relied on information captured from www.cable.co.uk and POTRAZ say the information is both old and false.
"Inasmuch 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.
"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$50 for 1GB of data. The Out of Bundle tariff is the normal cost based tariff that subscribers are charged when they are not accessing any data bundles.
"It ought to be underlined that data bundle rates cannot go beyond the Out of Bundle tariffs. Furthermore, the Authority reviewed tariffs in March 2019 which saw the Out of bundle rate being reviewed to RTGS$ 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$, which now stands at 1USs: RTGS$ 3.2, the US$ tariff for the Out of bundle data now stands at US$0.016 per MB or US$15.63 for 1GB of mobile data," said POTRAZ in the statement.
The Authority made it clear that the Mobile data tariffs in Zimbabwe are comparable to those obtaining in other SADC countries based on the Communication Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) country reports for 2018.
"As can be observed, the current price of 1GB of mobile data for Zimbabwe is among the lowest in the region, in US$ terms.
"The prices reported on www.cable.co.uk are different for all the countries in the SADC region. This raises questions on the authenticity of the data that was used, if not the reports themselves. The report understated the Out of bundle data prices per GB for some countries in SADC and overstated the Out of bundle data price per GB for Zimbabwe by US$55," read the statement.