War over mobile tariffs

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    BY BLESSED MHLANGA

    A war is looming over mobile tariff fees with mobile operators looking for a hike that could push data and voice call charges beyond the reach of many.
    Owing to raising inflation mobile operators want to charge tariffs that would allow them to settle foreign debts accrued for infrastructure development.
    “If you have noticed voice calls are constantly dropping and connection is intermittent because we are finding it difficult to meet operational costs and service international loans owing to foreign currency shortages.
    ICT minister Jenfan Mswera said while he is aware for the need of tariff hikes, there was a need to balance and avoid wanton behavior in the sector.
    “We are working towards tariff stability which is very important for the viability of the sector, we have to balance between consumer needs and survival of mobile operators in this regard Government will continue to provide a conducive environment for ICT sector players to flourish and ensure the provision of high quality ICT services that are modern, accessible and affordable to Consumers,” he said.
    Telecommunications regulator POTRAZ introduced a new model which does not require operators to apply for tariff increases.
    Muswere said the new model called Telecommunications Index pricing (TIP) which comes from the regulator will allow operators to price their services reasonably.