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Government Orders Immediate Suspension of New Voice, SMS and Data Tariffs

Government Orders Immediate Suspension of New Voice, SMS and Data Tariffs

The government has ordered the immediate suspension of the new minimum tariffs charged by mobile phone companies for voice calls, SMS and data, recently approved by the regulator, the newspaper Noticias reported on Tuesday 28 May.

According to the newspaper, the decision was announced this afternoon by the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Amilton Alissone, at a press conference at the end of another session of the Council of Ministers, which took place today in the country’s capital.

The minister explained that the decision to direct the communications regulator to suspend the tariffs in force was the result of an assessment of various elements presented to the Council of Ministers. ‘We’re going back to the old tariffs, while the regulator studies the best ones for the national market,’ he said.

Regarding the date of entry into force of the measure to suspend the revision of the internet tariff, Amilton Alissone said that the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM) should make a statement soon, and the government has only made a recommendation to the regulator.

Amilton Alissone – Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications
The DE reported earlier this month that the telecoms regulator had instructed operators to withdraw unlimited data and voice packages to avoid the collapse of the market and unfair competition. ‘The prices of telephone communications are no longer the same. We have banned the implementation of unlimited packages, which were damaging the economy. The 30-day packages continue, but consumers can’t talk unlimitedly to the point where it costs them zero,’ said the Chairman of the Board of Directors (chairmans) of the Mozambican National Communications Institute (INCM), Tuaha Mote, at the time.

‘As regulators, we assumed that we had limited the prices of unlimited packages by dictating the entry of new packages. If we had let the market continue like this, it would have collapsed. That’s why the regulator took the decision to set minimum prices,’ said the head of the INCM, adding that if the communications market collapsed, the country risked being left with just one operator.

On the same subject, which has already left thousands of Mozambicans outraged, especially young people, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mateus Magala, even argued that the new telephone tariffs are aimed at making the communications industry more sustainable.

‘The telecoms industry has to be sustainable. And for it to be sustainable, like other industries, it needs investments that come from other activities, such as the sale of services. So we have to have the right price, which is able to cover the cost and leave something for investment and job creation,’ he said.

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