High tariffs in the telecommunications sector have forced Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) to engage the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to carry out market definition and significant market power assessment in the sector.
Responding to a questionnaire on why Malawi is one of the countries with high tariffs in the region, Macra spokesperson Clara Mulonya said after the study the body will embark on a cost study to determine the methodology used by operators to calculate tariffs.
“This will help Macra to continue regulating prices for the interest of protecting consumers,” Mulonya said.
She said the regulatory body has also developed tariff regulations to govern the operations of the sector.
Mulonya further said Macra is reviewing the cost of doing business for the sector to determine the true cost of doing business and providing services.
Reacting to the development, John Kapito of Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) said though the move is commendable, Macra should have done it ‘yesterday.’
He said what the body needs is a review of the whole Communications Act to include issues of tariffs.
“The Act is weak; it does not give powers to Macra to regulate tariffs,” Kapito said.
Kapito, however, dismissed the idea of engaging an expert to conduct a study, saying the body should look at the laws first.
According to Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Communications Environment Report published in October 2013, Malawi is the third most expensive in mobile tariffs out of 32 African countries surveyed.