Zimbabwe’s data charges expected to drop by 40%
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The Minister of Information Communication and Technology Kazembe Kazembe has said that internet costs in Zimbabwe are expected to drop by 40% following the commissioning of Telone Backbone Fibre Optic Links by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Beitbridge yesterday.
A survey conducted by Cable.co.uk between 23rd October and 28th November 2018 found that Zimbabwe had the highest mobile data charges out of the 230 countries studied.
Kazembe was addressing delegates at the Beitbridge ceremony, said: “The commissioning of fibre optic links has made the country’s access to internet cheaper. The launch will lower data charges by 40%.”
Kazembe’s sentiments were echoed by the Acting Ambassador of China to Zimbabwe Mr Zhao Baogang, who said that the commissioned backbone fiber link will reduce telephone and internet costs by 40%.
The project was also said to have impact on the quality of service delivery through improvements to areas like its billing system, the quality of voice calls, faster internet speeds, toll-free services and interactive voice response services, Mr Baogang said.
Speaking at the same event Tel-One Managing Director, Chipo Mutasa said the fibre links have connected Zimbabwe and it’s neighboring countries while minimizing chances of internet blackout.
“The infrastructure has connected Zimbabwe to Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa as a result, minimizing chances of internet blackout out similar to the one that hit us last year,” she said.
In his address President Mnangagwa said the optic fibre-link funded by China Exim Bank to the tune of USD$98 Million will help connect Zimbabwe to the rest of the world.
“We used to say Zimbabwe is landlocked but because of this infrastructure we are land-linked,” said Mnangagwa.
“We look forward to seeing this investment not only contributing to employment creation but also generating the much needed foreign currency and wholesale improvement of Zimbabwe’s outlook as an investment destination.”
The project took a record 18 months to complete with hundreds of families benefiting through employment opportunities during its installation.
Prior to the commissioning of the National Backbone Link, broadband was getting to Zimbabwe via Mozambique and it had to travel across the ocean which made it costly.
With this project, Zimbabwe will be getting their broadband from South Africa which makes it much cheaper and speaks to the point expressed by the acting ambassador. At a time when most mobile network operators are appealing for a raise in tariffs, there is renewed hope that TelOne’s home internet will remain affordable.