What Will Happen To Our Local Software Developers?
A concern has been raised by one of our readers in terms of Internet Data Rates that are being charged in Zimbabwe, he said the data rates are too exorbitant and wanted the data price to fall, having that Zimbabwe has its own software developers, Web-designers and other programmers, he alluded to the fact that when are we going to appreciate their skills when we are having data at high rates.
Data rates have been revised over and over again in Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe is one of the most expensive country in Africa as far as internet is concerned, in a report by RAMP index’s Q2-2017, Egypt was the cheapest with 1GB costing $1.20 whereas in Zimbabwe the same 1GB was at $30, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are rated the most expensive countries in as far as data is concerned.
“We can’t be having data bundles for every social media, data must fall, how we will be able to use the local applications which don’t have data bundles?” said the reader.
The reader also stressed a point that we (Zimbabweans) are undermining each other, MNO charge high data prices, no one will ever appreciate the works that local developers are doing, this is the other reason why most companies outsource for IT personnel’s, it doesn’t mean that in Zimbabwe, we don’t have skilled people for most jobs but they are not given the chance to be appreciated for their works.
Due to high rates charged for internet most people opt to download say once of games which can also be played online, Game makers like Gerald Gombiro, the guy from 2.0 with 2 nice addictive games is not even recognised in the industry with a few people knowing about his games.
Although our local MNO has invested a lot of money on base stations construction and installations, Eyetro Digital believes that a decrease in data price will spark usage of the data leading to a more appreciation of locally developed applications due to affordability. MNO, on the other hand, can achieve demand-based growth relishing on the same existing base stations vis-à-vis a boost in the topline which will likely increase gross margins.
Facebook and WhatsApp usage have helped drive data volumes up in Zimbabwe mainly attributed to the affordability of the data bundles being offered under different packages by different MNOs. The encompassing of Twitter and Instagram in usual bundles is helping drive usage of these applications thereby in a way boosting the number of subscribers. It is in our view that organic applications should be given a special look in order to increase usage as well as supporting talent. A benchmark to the business model an application should reach is to be set by service providers so that a win-win relationship can be achieved between the MNOs as well as the developers.