Zimbabwe’s Load-Shedding will affect Data Prices

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The last 3 months Active data subscribers have been crying foul due to a constant increase in data prices in the country. Although Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration is gradually increasing, data usage has decreased over the past quarter according to Telecoms regulator, Potraz.

“Mobile data and internet usage declined by 8.2% to record 9,367 Terabytes from 10,201 Terabytes recorded in the previous quarter,” noted Potraz Q2-2019. We would like to believe that one major factor that caused the decline was mainly driven by power outages being experienced in Zimbabwe.

Yesterday afternoon Hwange Power Station encountered a fault which might cause ZESA Holdings Limited to implement prolonged load-shedding of up to 18 hours a day. In a report, The power utility said it was moving to Stage 2 load- shedding.

According to Zesa, Stage 1 load-shedding happens to the first group of customers as listed on its schedule and these are switched off as the power shortfall will be within planned limits.

What it means is that these Load-sheddings have a big negative effect on mobile network operators (MNOs), as they are required to use batteries and generators to keep their networks running.

These power sources are also not always as reliable, which can result in downtime or reduced performance which might be affected by many aspects ie fuel prices, purchasing solar-powered batteries and also the weather.

For MNO to keep up, considering the fuel and Foreign currencies shortages, voice and data tariffs will soon increase with a marginal percentage.

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