Zimbabwe has the best Data Pricing in Africa

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A recent study by a local media firm has revealed that Zimbabwe’s data packages are the cheapest in the African region, contrary to several claims from several circles that Zimbabwe has the most expensive and unbearable data in the world.

Recently, there was a hot online debate when a radio and TV personnel Ruveneko Parirenyatwa took it to Twitter and sparked a debate over the Zimbabwean Data tariffs issue, with prominent analysts giving mixed comments over the issue, some saying the local broadband charges were very affordable whilst some were saying they were one of the worst tariffs in the world.

Yesterday on Wednesday 13 March 2019, there was also a Parliamentary debate in Zimbabwe’s Parliament where parliamentary legislators were contesting and brainstorming on the issues on tariffs in Zimbabwe, whether they were reasonable or merely a slap on people’s faces.

The findings however, says that Last year, when engaging Germany company Detecon to account for the emerging market trends and changing consumer behaviour moving from voice to data, POTRAZ packed data rates which reveal that Zimbabwe’s data has been reduced to 5c per megabyte from 12.5c while the interconnection rate went down from 4c to 2c per minute, a trend which shows that Zimbabwe has affordable broadband packages compared to other regional players.

In making comparisons over different costs pegged on data, the report used three countries namely Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya for purposes of the research.

The research findings revealed that MTN, South Africa’s 1GB bundle, which lasts for only 24hours, costs 50 Rands, an equivalence to Zimbabwean 11.48 RTGS dollars. On the other hand, Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecoms in terms of subscriber base has their 1GB pegged at 3.23 RTGS Zimbabwe dollars equivalence, whereas Glo of Nigeria has data that costs an equivalence of 4.55 Zimbabwe RTGS at a cost of 500Naira.

Zimbabwe’s local data pricing, which is pegged at less than 1USD at 1RTGS following the recent Monetary Policy Statement issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that devalued and floated the local currency to 2.5RTGS as to 1USD from the initial 1:1 exchange rate that was prevailing prior to the MPS, is less than 1USD by far margin as compared to other African countries’ packages, hence very cheap and affordable contrary to what many have been saying.

Zimbabwe data charges per 1GB are pegged at 2USD across all networks i.e. Econet, NetOne and Telecel.

The major problem, however, is that the Data only lasts for 24 Hours whether fully utilized or not, which is a major setback for Zimbabwean data users. POTRAZ should find ways to adjust the bundle packages and make them more flexible, an excellent move which can set a first Market approach for any mobile network to introduce such a package as a top priority.

The report comparison analysis, therefore, showed that Zimbabwean Mobile Network Operator are giving a better offer in terms of offering an affordable data package as compared to other players in neighboring countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya

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