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INCM: “End of Unlimited Telecoms Packages Prevents Market Collapse”

INCM: “End of Unlimited Telecoms Packages Prevents Market Collapse”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors (PCA) of the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), Tuaha Mote, said this Tuesday, 7 May, that he has instructed telecommunications operators to withdraw unlimited data and voice packages in order to prevent 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 the consumer can’t talk unlimitedly to the point where it costs him zero.’

Tuaha Mote

According to the Lusa news agency, the issue is consumer complaints about the withdrawal of unlimited data and voice service packages, as part of the entry into force on Saturday (3) of the new average communications tariffs, defined by the three mobile telecoms operators, after intervention by the INCM.

Mote said that the regulator had eliminated the unlimited data and voice service packages as a measure to avoid ‘unfair competition’ between the operators and to allow the market to open up more to attract investment in the sector.

‘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,’ he said, adding that if the communications market collapsed, the country risked being left with just one operator.

He explained that the regulator’s action was aimed at protecting the consumer, ensuring that they have affordable prices, but that they don’t mean cheap and below cost.

‘As a consumer, I would like to continue buying communications below cost. But as a regulator, we felt it necessary to perform surgery on a finger to avoid amputating the arm.’

Tuaha Mote

He also said that the operators were aware that the market was ‘not good’, which is why he believed that setting prices was ‘a decision that had to be taken now’.

The communications regulator announced on Thursday (2) that telecommunications services would become cheaper on average from Saturday 4 May, with the entry into force of tariffs in which operators adjust the minimum values.

‘The intervention of the sector regulator has significantly lowered the price of telephone communications in Mozambique,’ said the chairman of the INCM’s board of directors.

According to him, the average price of the voice service in Mozambique would drop from six meticais (eight euro cents) per minute to five meticais (five cents), while the average price of the data service would drop from 2.30 meticais (33 cents) per megabyte to 1.08 meticais (26 cents). On the other hand, the average price of SMS messaging services has fallen from 1.70 meticais (24 cents) per SMS to 1.10 meticais (one euro cent).

At the time, the president of the INCM justified the average price drop as a necessity for the sector in order to guarantee access to services for everyone, especially the population with low purchasing power.

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‘The INCM’s mission, in its capacity as regulator, is to guarantee the availability of infrastructures, quality services, a competitive environment and affordable prices for consumers, with the aim of guaranteeing the stability and sustainability of the market.’

Tuaha Mote

The updating of average prices comes after the INCM published a resolution on 19 February establishing new minimum tariffs in the telecommunications sector, namely for national calls inside and outside the network, data services and the messaging service.


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