Potraz to introduce mobile network promotions framework

Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe will soon introduce a framework to govern promotions by mobile network operators.

Last year, various mobile network operators’ promotions for voice calls, short messaging services and over the top services were suspended.

POTRAZ director general Dr Gift Machengete told The Herald Business the framework was aimed at bringing sanity and creating a level playing field in the way mobile operators run promotions.

In line with this, the framework will guide mobile operators from running promotions “haphazardly and undercutting each other.”

The regulator anticipates the release of the framework before end of the first quarter after board approvals.

“We do not want a situation where operators end up undercutting each other,” said Dr Machengete by telephone.

“At the end of the day these promotions should help grow the sector, in a way that does not compromise provision of quality service or viability of the sector. There is infrastructure to be maintained. We need to have a controlled atmosphere and we are putting final touches to it,” he said.

In August last year, a number of promotions by the country’s mobile operators, namely Econet’s 7X promotion, Kwese TV’s zero rated bundles, Telecel’s Mega Bonus Promotion and NetOne’s 48-hour data and SMS combo were suspended. The removal of the telcos’ promotions had an adverse effect on customers who have had to bear the brunt of costly mobile voice and data tariffs.

Dr Machengete indicated consultations with mobile operators had also been done in anticipation for the re-launch of such promotions to the market.

“As the regulator, we want to ensure there is a level play field. The mobile operators have been having these promotions before until last year and they have always wanted to bring them back, they have been waiting for this,” he said.

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