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New Telecoms Tariffs: Government Calls for Dialogue to Address Objections

New Telecoms Tariffs: Government Calls for Dialogue to Address Objections

The government, through the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mateus Magala, called this Thursday (16) for dialogue to resolve the controversies surrounding the new tariffs imposed by telecommunications operators in the country, inviting all interested parties to debate viable solutions.

‘To find solutions, the way is always dialogue. I don’t believe that there are no solutions, even to the most complex problems, as long as there is space for us to talk,’ he said during the National Communications Conference, held in Maputo.

The disputes come at a time when telecommunications services have seen an increase in costs in the country, with the elimination of unlimited packages, resulting from the setting of minimum tariffs by the National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), the regulatory body, which has generated dissatisfaction among consumers, according to Alexandre Bacião, executive director of the consumer defence association ProConsumer.

Alexandre Bacião, quoted by Agência Lusa, said that ‘the consumer protection institution has been receiving complaints since 4 May about the increase in the prices of packages, especially mobile data, causing constraints for consumers’.

For the Minister of Transport and Communications, it is necessary to find a balance between the demands of the telecoms regulator and the rights of consumers.

‘We invite the parties to present their arguments and put forward their reasons,’ said the minister, emphasising that the debate is open to academia, civil society, the government and the private sector.

The president of the INCM, Tuaha Mote, justified the new tariffs and the withdrawal of unlimited data and voice packages as measures to avoid the ‘collapse of the market’ and ‘unfair competition,’ as well as promoting the opening up of the market to attract investment in the sector.

Mozambican activists have called for a national march on Saturday to protest against the new tariffs, demanding the repeal of the resolution setting minimum tariffs.

‘Regardless of the results of the march on 18 May, if this decision is not repealed, we will continue to protest and take action. The campaign will continue until it is repealed, and we are ready to mobilise every citizen affected,’ said Quitéria Guirengane, a representative of the activists, after a meeting in Maputo with INCM leaders.

Misa Moçambique – a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the development of the communications sector – also called for the new tariffs to be revoked, claiming that they violate the rights of Mozambicans, in a request submitted to the telecommunications regulator on Wednesday (15).

The National Union of Students (UNE) and the Association of University Graduates of Mozambique (AEFUM) also criticised the new tariffs, pointing out that they mainly affect students and young people.

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The INCM had announced that, as of 4 May, telecommunications services would become more affordable, on average, with the implementation of tariffs in which operators adjust the minimum values.

The National Communications Conference, an event organised by the National Telecommunications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), the governing body in this area, is taking place in Maputo from 16 to 17 May. The event brings together specialists, companies in the sector, regulators, academics and civil society to explore strategies and solutions to boost the sustainable growth and prosperity of the communications sector in Mozambique, according to a statement from the institution.


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