The government has defended Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) after they recently reviewed upwards charges for most of their services, including data.
Econet, the country biggest mobile phone operator, increased data prices by 225 per cent while NetOne hiked its own offerings by about 65 per cent sparking an outcry from users who say the services were now beyond their reach.
Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) director-general Gift Machengete said that the review was within what the regulator prescribed (30 cents per megabyte) as firms were all along charging less to attract customers. He said:
Costs incurred to provide the service are used to determine thresholds within which operators set tariffs.
This is meant to balance the need to ensure service affordability at the same time ensuring the survival of operators.
Operators then get the flexibility to compete on prices as manifested in their discounted bundle offerings.
Machengete also revealed that POTRAZ will allocate free spectrum to MNOs until the end of the year in order to ensure affordable data to consumers amid the coronavirus pandemic.