The rising, cost of mobile data in Zimbabwe is across black Twitter timelines, WhatsApp Group chats and Facebook discussions. Latest reports claim that Zimbabwe has the highest data tariffs in the SADC region at an average price of $75.20 per Gigabyte.
Apparently, this claimed cost of data only accounts for out-of-bundle tariffs.
Let me explain…
This is the normal cost based tariff that we are charged when we use actual airtime to access the internet. Thanks to data bundles the use of actual airtime for internet access is a rarity. The popularity of daily bundles is simple, it’s usually the cheapest local mobile internet solution in Zimbabwe.
In addition, the unstable exchange rate of the RTGS dollar and the US dollar has had a
negative bearing on mobile data prices.
Research conducted by the Communication Regulators Association of Southern Africa shows that Botswana has the highest data tariffs per megabyte charging USD 93, followed by Eswatini at USD 56 per 1000MB while Zimbabwe charges an average of US20 per 1000MB.
Contrary to on-going debate the cost of mobile data in Zimbabwe is comparatively amongst
the lowest in the region in US$ terms. A testament to efforts by MNOs to make connectivity
more accessible for all.