Mauritius wants to cut mobile phone charges 25%

10 years, 8 months ago - May 03, 2011
Mauritius plans to cut mobile phone charges by a minimum 25 percent by end-May

Mauritius plans to cut mobile phone charges by a minimum 25 percent by end-May.

Information and communication technology minister Tassarajen Chedumbrum Pillay told Reuters on Tuesday the current 90 cents per minute interconnection and user fees were too high.

"I have asked the Information and Communication Technology Authority to review the charges by not less than 25 percent. We hope to be able to have a tariff cut by the end of the month,"

With a population of 1.3 million people, Mauritius counts more than 1.2 million sim card subscriptions and the government believes the market is still not saturated.

"The number of subscribers is one the increase," Pillay said, adding he expected the cut to charges to ramp up business for operators.

There was no immediate reaction from telecom operators.

Mauritius Telecom, which dominates the fixed line and mobile markets and is a leading internet service provider, last month posted a 17 percent rise in pretax profit to 2.4 billion rupees on the back of a higher contribution from the mobile market.

It said the mobile segment grew by 10.4 percent in 2010, compared with 6.7 percent in the previous year.

ICT contributed 5.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year, and Pillay said he expected that figure to increase to 6.4 percent in 2011. "This will represent 23 billion rupees in terms of contribution to GDP," Pillay said.

Text by Reuters

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