BAD NEWS: Mobile network operators to hike tariffs

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The Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (Potraz) has started consulting cellular service providers on tariff increases after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe floated the exchange rate last month.

Potraz customer service’s manager Mr Phibion Chaibva told journalists on the side lines of the authority’ outreach programme at Chinotimba Shopping Centre in Victoria Falls on Saturday that while he was not privy to the increases proposed by cellphone service providers, he was aware that consultations were underway.

He said that the authority was going to decide on the increases using costs submitted by service providers.

“What I know is Potraz’s approval of tariffs is cost based. Our regulations say it should be supported by documents of what it costs providers to provide their service and their mark up,” he said.

The review in tariff comes as the cost of goods and services has been going up. Mr Chaibva said as an authority they were keen to ensure that subscribers get the best service and value from providers. He said the most common complaint that they have been getting during their road show was that of subscribers losing their credit without making a call. He said some of the issues pertained to lack of communication on billing.

“Service providers should continuously engage their clients on billing so that they will make the right decision on their spending patterns,” he said.

Mr Chaibva also said their roadshows were also targeting children to raise awareness of dos and don’ts when using the internet.

“We are saying that the internet is good and children should access it but parents have a duty to monitor the sites that their children visit and the people they engage because some of them are very dangerous. The child might assume that he or she is talking or communicating with another child yet it’s someone who wants to harm them,” he said.

In terms of uptake, he said the country’s mobile penetration was at 94 percent.

“Our market uptake is almost mature. We are nearly there almost everyone is connected,” he said.

— Herald


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