Mobile operators on Thursday announced data price cuts, but Malawians are not impressed and they have accused the companies of reducing prices of certain data bundles with one hand while increasing prices of some bundles with the other.
The reductions were expected following an announcement by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) that data prices would fall by 30 percent on April 22.
Airtel was the first to announce, as the company cut prices for six of its volume bundles. The 1GB Daily bundle which used to cost K1800 now costs K1500, 1GB weekly used to cost K2500 now costs K2000, price for 1GB monthly bundle has been reduced from K3500 to K2400 while 2GB monthly bundle which used to cost K5000 now cost K4000.
Airtel has also introduced a Panet Nova 1GB Bundle valued at K3500 but with no validity.
“This second revision of our data prices is evidence of our commitment to meet our customers’ needs,” said Airtel Managing Director Charles Kamoto in a statement.
On Thursday night, TNM also announced that data has fallen.
The company has reduced prices for nine bundles but the only one reduced by 30 percent is the 1GB monthly bundle from K3,500 to K2,450. A supersurf Weekly 1GB bundle has seen its price reduced from K2500 to K2000 while price for a 1GB daily bundle has been reduced from K1800 to K1450. TNM has also reduced price for a Facebook 20MB daily bundle from K110 to K100.
The company has, however, increased price of its WhatsApp monthly bundle from K600 to K650 though the volume has been increased to 600MB from 540MB.
While touting its popular dynamic 1GB bundle to be low at K500 when Yanga is 75 percent, the company has actually raised the price of the bundle as it used to cost K300 at 75 percent Yanga. The 4GB dynamic bundle has seen its price increased to K750 from K600.
The company has also discontinued over 20 data bundles which provided cheaper alternatives to Pay as you go.
Commenting on the TNM Facebook page, Malawians say they are not impressed and have called out the company for raising dynamic bundle prices.
Timothy Mpasuka said: “Chonde muchitepo kanthu nkhani ya (please do something on) dynamic bundle, why did you had to raise the price of the 4 GB and why did you had to remove some plus you hiked the price of the 1 GB. Please reinstate them to their original prices or you’re going to lose many customers.”
Mulanje South East Constituency- Kondwani Kathumba 2025 said: You guys joke a lot with many Malawians, for real there is no significant changes in your bundles. You are slowly losing customers here, otherwise justify your prices and reduce further. Malawians are tired of exorbitant data bundles from you TNM”
While Tiko Chimkowola-Kadaluka: Not really impressed….there’s no falling, just adjusting.”
On the Airtel Facebook Page, Malawians have also taken the company to task.
Milla Gustafsson said: “This is doing absolutely nothing. I am quite sure that most of your customers rather use the small daily bundles and you did absolutely nothing with them. Unbelievable. Malawi seriously needs to allow more operators to come in. Besides there is no way I can buy a 1GB bundle from you, all you see is “you have used 50%, 75%, 100%” bundle gone in 5 minutes.”
While Prince B Kumwenda said: “What a Joke Airtel guys… Those so called reduced data bundles I don’t see how an average Malawian can sustainably afford them. Literally there’s nothing done there. Why don’t you at least reduce those popular data bundles we customers commonly purchase