Liberia: LTA Gives Mobile Operators 12-hour Ultimatum to Rescind Sharp Increase in Voice and Data Charges

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MONROVIA – The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) says its attention has been drawn to what it termed as “illegal and arbitrary increase in cost of service (voice & data bundles) by both Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange under the pretense of complying with the surcharge order”.

According to the LTA, under relevant provisions of the Liberia Telecommunications Act of 2007, no ‘Term Services” can be increased without approval of the LTA.

LTA order 0016-02-25-19 resulted in the imposition of a Floor Price on Voice and Data, under which the MNOs eliminated the 3-day free call last year September; the government is legally due charges accrued on revenue derived therefrom.  “The New Term of Services” been promoted is far in excess of what is required for implementation of any order and designed for profiteering and political purposes.

Liberians woke up Thursday morning to new charges on voice calls and mobile data which doubled previous prices. For example, US$2 initially could purchase 1.2gb of data, but with the new pricing US$2 get only 600mb of data while the US$1 for 45 minutes of on-net voice call has been reduced to 15 minutes of voice call for the same amount.

The Mobile Network Operators are hereby given 12 hours to rescind this illegal price increase or face appropriate punitive measures.

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