The House of Representatives has instructed its committee on Telecommunications to look into the new regulations to GSM companies here.The House of Representatives took the decision based on a communication from Rivercess County District#2 Representative Byron W. Zahnwea, asking full Plenary to invite officials of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) to brief the body on the new regulations that have subjected the GSM companies to skyrocketing prices on both voice and data services.
“As you may be aware, it is incumbent on the Liberia Telecommunications Authority to provide regulations that will ably guard the telecommunications sector”, Rep. Zahnwea reminds his colleagues.The service providers have since cut off series of promotions, including the famous Three Days Free Calls promotion and set new price for on net and data calls based on intervention by LTA.
Since the cancellation of the Three Days Free Calls and other promotions, there have been public outcries from various sectors of the Liberian society.Many have disagreed with the decision by the government and service providers, threatening to stage mass citizens’ action against the latest decision.
The recent price regulations by GSM companies were accompanied by a message which states, “By directive of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, all mobile on net voice and data prices will be adjusted on September 1, 2019”.
Rep. Zahnwea hopes his request will receive immediate attention, noting that the matter is really affecting ordinary Liberians amidst serious economic constrains in the country.But the Liberia Telecommunications Authority clarifies that the US$1 three days promotion by GSM companies is not being cancelled, as being widely circulated.
The LTA in a statement released Wednesday, 04 September in Monrovia said what’s actually happening is that customers would talk for allotted minutes for US$1 within the same three days period.“So, effectively, you can still buy a dollar $1 and call for three days as you used to but with a reduction in the allotted minutes,” the statement clarifies.
In accordance with LTA order 0016-02-25-19, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority announces the implementation of Floor Prices, a regulatory tool used to compensate for lack of market mechanism to ensure market stability. The measure is in response to call for intervention by Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to stop predatory pricing wars which has stifled the sector growth and plummeted revenue significantly. By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne