Internet charges becoming ‘hellish experience’: Malawi group to petition Macra

A pressure group, comprising a representation of the country’s internet users, has sworn on a stack of bibles that it intends to petition internet service providers in the country through Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) for over-pricing, Nyasa Time shas established.

Student using Internet resources

Student using Internet resources

A woman browses the internet trough her mobile phone

A woman browses the internet trough her mobile phone

The group said the charges are becoming a “hellish” experience for most Malawians who survive on abysmal incomes.

“It cannot be overemphasized how much of importance the internet has become. While the rest of the world is making access to the internet as cheaper and efficient as possible, the situation is a nightmare in Malawi,” said Wisdom Kamkondo Jnr, one of the leaders of the pressure group calling itself ‘Cheap and Affordable Internet Services for Malawians Now!’

Kamkondo, a web designer, added that the internet services were almost becoming hokum and hard-to-reach for Malawians.

“Almost all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have created hell for Malawians because of unreasonably exorbitant internet rates which seem to be unregulated and as a result users are stuck to go for the data packages at ridiculous prices,” added Mordecai Banda, another member of the group.

He added: “This must come to an immediate halt.”

The grouping, which said the petition is being drafted, called on Malawians to support their cause. They warned that they were ready to go as far as protesting on the same.

Information available on the Airtel Malawi website – one of the leading internet service providers in the country – indicates that, for example, the Airtel Lite data bundle (500Mb) costs K2 330 while Airtel Plus (2GB) is worth K5 825.

“Both bundles don’t last not more than two weeks even when one is doing such simple tasks as checking mail,” lamented Kamkondo.

The Airtel website also shows that Airtel Max (4GB) is worth K11 650 while My Airtel (10GB) costs K23 300. Much as these can keep someone much longer, Kamkondo observed, most Malawians cannot afford.

“It is a nightmare,” he said. “For a country whose majority lives on less than a dollar a day.”

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Mphwache
Guest

We have missed the boat everytime. The only way to bring the rates down is to bring in more competition. All our neighbours have more than 3 mobile phone companies, here there only 2, and they collude “mind you” to fix their rates. We also a totally disruptive MACRA which is bent on raising money for the party in power.

Professional Journalist
Guest
Professional Journalist

We told you these cell phone companies are thieves! You don listen. You remember Chikaonda said TML made a profit of 3 billion after 6 months. We should nationalize MTL

Kanyimbi
Guest

This is indeed true. I am losing a lot of money for using the internet. We are the internet generation and we need to be protected.

BOX 13 BILILA, N U
Guest

That is that which is maturity,these old folks need be taught by action,new generation,show dem how committed u are on very important. Issues like this,internet. Is where one can get knowledge,and u make it inaccessible,and deprive the nation of knowledge,no sense.

Nyambitoni
Guest

very correct, these people are crooks! you buy 5MB data bundle, before you have even browsed, after two minutes you get a notification that you have used 80% of your data, 5 minutes later, another one informing you that you have used 90%, the rest is history. you airtel guys are the worsts!

F kajera
Guest

Not only internet charges even call charges are exorbitant in Malawi. I have a brother who lives in Tanzania and always complains of over charging of units here. If he buys for K5 000 it does not last even for a day here while there it woyld have lasted a week or more. MACRA where are you?

Malita
Guest

I support u, for someone to access internet for the whole month on a bundle it cost more that 15,000 thats day light robery opanda bundle nde u’ll browse for 2 days eish.

kanchenga
Guest

As a family we were using home net wi Fi at 12000 a moth this was becoming popular among many families but alas MTL decided malawians don’t deserve this so they withdraw the service in December 2014. You see a lot of people still using it through corrupt arrangements with MTL engineers. A shame full situation where only the wicked find fake relief. MTL has become one of those companies propagating corruption.

Hoitty
Guest

Airtel tnm have been stealing from poor people for a long time now. They are now rich and have decided to introduce discounts for call in YANGA & KHETHEKHETHE. You tend to wonder if they are capable of giving 99.3% discounts on calls how much were they making before introducing such especially in the era of charging airtime in US dollars? I wish we internet charges xould go down to K1000 for 1gig

zebron
Guest
This is all down to the Malawian mentality. If this story was on politics, DPP, PP, MCP, some scandal in area 18, there would be tonnes of comments here. It’s the priorities and interest which have left Malawians so inept to put efforts/investments where they would drive the economy. Unless Malawians change their mentality, the prices of important services like Internet will keep going up. Look at the current government’s strategy and governance structure, there is very little mention/vision about improving the technology infrastructure. Having worked in the west for over a decade and at the heart of major corporations… Read more »
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