Member of Parliament for Blantyre City South Constituency, Noel Lipipa, has called on all Telecommunication Companies in Malawi to suspend the expiration of data bundles.
This follows an initiative taken by the Ministry of Education in the country to make sure students are still learning despite the closure of colleges and schools in the country since March 23, 2020. As such, on April 22, the Minister of Education, William Susuwele- Banda, signed a memorandum with TNM to launch the e-learning initiative.
This has led Hon.Lipipa to propose that;at a time like this, telecommunication companies should stop data bundle expiry for its customers. “Time has come for we the people, through MACRA, to order that Airtel and TNM must prominently display the current data tariffs on their website,” he said. “The companies must immediately stop depriving consumers’ unused data based on the data expiry model.”
In Malawi, network consumers are only allowed to use data bundles within a specified period of time. Once the period is over, the network providers suspend the use of internet until the consumer buys a new bundle.
“As long as the SIM card is active and the consumer keeps recharging; data bundles are not qualified as perishable goods if we are serious about e-learning,” Lipipa concluded.