‘Malawi’s phone tariffs among highest in‘Malawi’s phone tariffs among highest in Africa’ Africa’
A recent survey by an internationally renowned firm, Research ICT Solutions, has placed Malawi among African countries with highest cost of making phone calls and Internet usage.
Lead researcher, Andrew Dymond, said when presenting the findings to stakeholders in Blantyre that lack of competition on the market remains one major challenge affecting cost of communication.
The study, instituted by communication regulator, the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra), was assessing and analysing market trends for electronic communication in the country.
On average, costs of making calls are pegged at K72 per minute within the same network and K90 per minute between different networks, which Dymond rated as exorbitant.
“The tariff rates have been so high on the regional basis, very high than other countries within the region and even the continent. This means that Malawians are paying more than what most other people are paying for similar services across the continent,” said Dymond.
He, however, said the rates seem relatively low during off peak time and on same network calls owing to marketing incentives by service providers.
“By calling during off pick period, or on net calls, consumers have got a better price, a third or quarter lower than the actual prices,” said.
The telecommunication industrys in Malawi has four major players, namely TNM, Airtel Malawi, Access Communications Limited and MTL.
The researcher then recommend for an increase in number of service providers to grow competition on the market.
While looking forward to implement the recommendations, Macra economist Linda Kambale said the regulator awaits review of the current Communication Act to address the concerns.
“We are geared to see that the situation changes for the better. The main challenge is that the laws we are now using may not permit us to act on some of the challenges as a regulator.
“The cost of making phone calls remain high, but the operators are trying everything possible to reduce,” she said.