TNM, Airtel announce new data bundle rates, Malawians not impressed

Data must Fall

Malawi's top two mobile phone companies TNM and Airtel have on Thursday announced lower data bundle rates following discussions with the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), but Malawians are not impressed by the new reductions.

On Tuesday, Macra issued a statement saying their engagement focused on the lower volume bundles used by the majority of Internet users in Malawi.

"The outcome of the engagement will see a 30 percent reduction for entry level 1GB volume bundle with the telecommunications operators further reducing the volume bundles up to 4GB between a range of 10 percent and 31 percent," read the statement.

On Thursday, Airtel Malawi, for instance announced that it had reduced the rates of some of its daily, weekly and monthly bundles and had also introduced a 1GB one with unlimited validity.

The reductions are mostly on the lower-rated bundles, however most of the bigger ones remain intact.

"At Airtel Malawi, we strive to offer our customers the best value. The second revision  of our data prices is evidence of our commitment to meet our customers' needs. The 'PaNet' is suitable for customers who prefer convenience and flexibility," says Airtel's MD Charles Kamoto.

Airtel

But some disgruntled Malawians have argued that the reductions are not anywhere near what they were campaigning for using the hashtag  DataMustFall.

One Joseph Chitwalo Nkhoma reacting said: "This is not what we expected. Muzilemba nkhanitu muChichewa. Anthufe zumativuta kumvesa. So only volume bundle nde yatsika. 1GB yokhayo😔😔😔"

"The reduction isn't impressing at all," said Mickzedeck Chowe.

Heavy data bundle users like Julius Mithi has conspiracy theories that the consumption rate will increase.

"Let us not clap hands...they will increase consumption rate now. You will thank me later. Sizachipani [This isn't about politics]

On Twitter others have trashed, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako saying he has achieved much.

Kazako triumphantly posted on his Facebook page that new data bundles will be announced Thursday much to the delight of internet users.

Nothing doing... 🚮 https://t.co/ZImJdrOyoL