Data bundles to be reduced effective Thursday, April 22

Mobile Network Operators are expected to reduce data charges effective on Thursday, April 22 following increased concerns from consumers regarding high internet data prices in the country.

A statement from Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) says the Ministry of Information directed it to engage the Mobile Network Operators to review and revise the current data prices more especially the lower volume bundles which are commonly used by the majority of internet users in the country.

“These engagements which mainly focused on the rates for 1GB volume bundles have been concluded,” said the statement.

“The outcome of the engagements will see a 30% reduction for the entry level 1GB volume bundle with the Telecommunications Operators further reducing the volume bundles up to 4GB between a range of 10% and 31%.”

MACRA says this has been done in cognizance of the “important role that ICT plays in the country’s socio-economic development and the role that internet services have played and continue to play mainly during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Government aims at ensuring that data services are affordable to all Malawians. Therefore, Government has taken cognizant of the concerns raised by the citizenry through the Ministry of Information as a policy holder of Information and Communication Technologies.

“In August 2020, the Mobile Network Operators reduced their Pay as you Go or out of bundle rates from an average of K20 to K5 per megabyte following an intervention from the Ministry.

“Since then, MACRA has been engaging the MNO’s to further revise the standard volume bundles offered to consumers to align to the cost of providing the services in the country.

“The Communications Authority would like to assure the public that it is committed to ensuring that services delivered are affordable and of good quality,” says MACRA, adding that the Telecommunication Operators themselves will soon be announcing these price changes to the public.

The road to this development came about when the public ran a massive campaign to reduce data cost that was dubbed ‘Data Must Fall’ which Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako also joined.

During the engagement process, Airtel Malawi, one of the country’s top mobile phone service providers, reduced the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) tariffs which Kazako expressed delight of  but still asked the mobile operator to do more to accord Malawians affordable ICT services.

Kazako had said then that “or Malawi to forge ahead in the digital era, it is of paramount importance that ICT services be accessible and affordable at all times”.

He had also said the telecommunications sub sector is catalyst of this process and assured the public that the Government would continue providing a conducive environment for investors in the country, including those in ICT sector.

He had pointed out at two things among others that the mobile operator needs to look into — that the mobile operator should not to put expiry dates for bundles, saying consumers need to be left to plan on when to use their bundles.

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Dataman
Dataman
1 year ago

Not only that MACRA, every student and small business now need uncapped data sales, South African MNOs are selling uncapped data and students can afford, when is Malawi MNOs
coming with their’s?

Last edited 1 year ago by Dataman
Mzakwacha Nixon's
Mzakwacha Nixon's
1 year ago

Hon.Minister of Information,
You deserve distingition…
Thanks very much for the reduction of data rates.
I pray you should be in the same office for the entire 5years….
You are fit and considerate.
Keep well and wise,we like you.
+27724922299
[email protected]

Douglas
Douglas
1 year ago

Good news

Lumbani
Lumbani
1 year ago

As much as I am thankful this does not benefit most Malawians. How many Malawians purchase 1GB?
Kazako should have negotiated for a price reduction on a bundle that most Malawians use (250 kwacha). Just my opinion

Bentby
1 year ago

That’s great news. Thanks Kazako.

PelomaPepe
PelomaPepe
1 year ago

Something good… Well done!

Contraband
Contraband
1 year ago

The cost will be incorporated on another service and customers won’t be told. Just shifting where to charge exorbitantly.

I hope we don’t push out investment in the country through some of these things.

Government must balance.. our taxes are also way too high.. we shouldn’t expect to have our cake and eat it too.

Kamputeni
1 year ago
Reply to  Contraband

I agree with you.

IP Networks Expert
IP Networks Expert
1 year ago
Reply to  Contraband

The main challenge Malawi has is that we only have 2 mobile operators despite booming business in mobile network operators busines, it baffles my mind why we still have 2 mobile operators even in 2021, Covid has taught us a bitter lesson that we cant survive without ICT, it is very interesting to learn that while TNM and Airtel are very expensive on mobile data network, they are currently the cheapest on ISP corporate busines, this is because the ISP busines has already around 10 ISPs MTL, Globe, Skyband,Afrimax Access Communications among others, so basicalyy they are trying to penetrate… Read more »

National CEO
National CEO
1 year ago

We have 4 mobile operators in Malawi namely:

  1. Airtel
  2. TNM
  3. Access
  4. MTL

But the other two are not doing enough on the market.

Nyama zawo
Nyama zawo
1 year ago

Next is RBM. Please control your boys in town. Lending rates are just too high.

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