FRANCISCO Mumba has observed that last week’s parliamentary motion on Internet data bundle expiry date will impact positively on Zambian families.
On Thursday last week, Nalikwanda UPND member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa moved a motion in Parliament urging the government to prohibit Internet service providers from setting expiry dates on Internet bundles bought by customers.
The lawmaker wondered why data bundles in Zambia were not transferable and that that way, service providers were exploiting its clients by benefiting from unused but expired Internet bundles.
Mumba, a governance activist, has branded the motion as a brilliant one.
“It will impact families positively,” Mumba said, in a press statement.
“The motion, when enacted into law, will impact all Zambians positively, especially the poor across the country.”
He stated that the role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in national development could not be over-emphasised.
“Therefore, with reduced cost on the use of mobile service, through increased days on data expiry, is a brilliant motion,” he stated, adding that the non-partisan business exhibited by the House on the same motion was equally exciting.
“[It] reflects that with time, the House may begin to debate on motions of national interest on [a] multi-partisan approach.”
Mumba added that a Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) recent report to the parliamentary committee on transport, communication, works and supply noted the increase of mobile phone users from 2.3 million to five million in 2012.
“A study too conducted in 2015 shows that about 10.9 million Zambians use a cellular mobile phone. It is highly probable that almost every household maybe using a cellular phone and invariably uses bundles in one way or the other,” Mumba stated.
“On average, in the most densely populated areas and villages, per day, cellular phone owners purchase a K2 talk time which gives them 11 minutes, 10MB and 100 short messaging system (SMS) on promotion, as an example from one mobile provider. A subscriber remain connected, able to communicate with loved ones and also able to receive [WhatsApp] messages. The impact to legislate on the bundles, both socially and economically, is huge and therefore Parliament must be commended on such progressive motion.”
He stressed that phones provided a means of doing business, either through mobile banking services like money transfer or purchases on utility services.
“Effecting increased data expiry days has the potential to reduce the cost of doing business, which will be passed on to consumers,” stated Mumba.
“Whilst we commend the House for voting overwhelmingly on the motion, kudos to Honourable Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa!”