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Zimbabwe's telecom regulator gets firm with companies

Zimbabwe’s telecom regulator gets firm with companies.

Zimbabwean telecommunications companies are increasingly under the spotlight this year - after being requested to lower voice tariffs, another storm is brewing over moves to enforce a reduction of data tariffs.

Now, the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) is to gage consumer satisfaction in the telecommunications sector.

The new ICT minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, has also been piling on the pressure on telecom firms. He wants them to share infrastructure and has also said that he wants to see data tariffs being lowered.

Potraz says it will survey consumer satisfaction in the sector before end of this year. The telecom regulator has invited tenders from companies intending to help it carry out the survey and has stipulated a deadline of 30 May.

"Bids are invited from reputable, reliable and well established companies to tender for the following; carrying out consumer satisfaction survey for telecommunications, postal and courier services," the regulator said.

This comes after Mandiwanzira said at a conference in Victoria Falls last week that his government had "insisted on the regulator to begin enforcing some rules on the operators" after receiving "a lot of complaints from subscribers who alleged they are being abused by mobile operators who over-bill them" for services.

"We don't believe it is right to abuse the consumer. The fact that the handset is his or hers, buys airtime with his or her own money, means that they should be respected," he said.

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