Swazi MTN drops tariffs
EZULWINI – Swazi MTN has slashed its tariffs for both prepaid and postpaid customers, with the former benefiting more.
Prepaid customers will now be charged E1.80 per unit during peak hours from E2.05, a variance of 25 cents.
This applies to a MTN to MTN call as well as video calls and is inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).
MTN to a Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) call will now drop to E1.80 as well, from E2.51 during peak hours.
To benefit more are those who make international calls as they will now be charged E3.50 when calling a South African mobile phone from E6.16 and the same tariff when calling a SA fixed line.
Off-peak rates have a difference of 10 cents from MTN to MTN calls as well as video calls from E1.60 to E1.50 while MTN to SPTC will also be E1.50 from E2.51. The tariff reduction is with effect from today.
The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Philip Besiimire, noted that the economic environment in Swaziland, since 2010 had been marred by extreme volatility and the telecommunications space was not spared by this volatility.
He explained that Swazi MTN has had negative impact on a number of fronts.
"So while everything else seems to be on the rise such as price of petrol, introduction of VAT (Value Added Tax), thereby affecting our customers’ disposable income, we deem it appropriate to review our tariffs so that we are the stimulant for economic recovery," he explained.
He noted that the free flow of information and communication was paramount to the progress of society, adding that Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) was viewed as essential for advancing socio-economic development for countries worldwide.
"Globally, ICT benefits entire countries by supporting the proliferation of information, enabling citizens to access vital communication services and promoting the development of technology advancements.
Whereas MTN embarks on a deliberate tariff reduction strategy, it’s imperative that the legislative environment improves rapidly to enable further improvements in the cost of communication in Swaziland," he said.
Postpaid customers benefit on international calls
EZULWINI – Postpaid customers will witness a huge reduction in tariffs of about 44 per cent when making international calls to countries such as the Taiwan, United Kingdom and Kuwait.
A call to Taiwan will now cost E5.80 from E10.03, E4.80 to the United Kingdom from E8.09 and E5.30 to Kuwait from E10.03 and these tariffs are applicable during peak hours.
Off-peak rates have also been slashed to be between E5.30 to E4.50.
However, there is only a one cent variance during peak hours when making a MTN to MTN call and a 48 cent difference when calling from MTN to SPTC.
Making a call to a South African fixed line or mobile number will now be E3.30 from E4.82 and E5.34 respectively.
MTN Chief Executive Officer, Ambrose Dlamini, said they wanted to create an enabling environment to allow business people to make international calls, stating that there was an opportunity to drop the tariffs even further if they had their own international gateway.
"We have operators within MTN Group who charge E2.80 for international calls. If we had our own international gateway, there is an opportunity to charge even less," he said.
Chief Marketing Officer Philip Besiimire said research suggests that ICT diffusion created a wide range of benefits in developing nations including supporting economic growth, in part by improving global competitiveness and attracting international investors.
"Although such improvements are difficult to measure, one recent study found that developing countries with better ICT infrastructure attract significantly more business from off shoring, outsourcing and foreign investment," he explained.
SMS, data unchanged
EZULWINI –Short Message Service (SMS) and data tariffs will remain unchanged in light of the new tariff reduction implemented by Swazi MTN.Swazi MTN Chief Marketing Officer, Philip Besiimire, said the tariff had not been changed because it was already competitive at 80 cents per unit.
He explained that those buying data bundles would enjoy a good rate while out of bundle tariffs would not change.
Sir, this move has been long overdue! I am not celebrating at all because each time I would make a call, I would feel short changed and cheated by MTN and since I have no choice, I would just comply and lose my hard earned cash on making the important calls. They are now facing a showdown with SPTC's ONE mobile thats when they consider reducing the tarrifs. There is nothing for MTN to be proud of here; their charges have always been a cause for concern by the customers thats why in such a time when the country is going through an economic crunch and prizes of all commodities are flying high, theirs are falling. Where is the justification there? As 'compelled' customers we demand fairness from mobile phone service providers and I wouldnt even start to compare with providers in other countries as MTN has been charging and is still charging the highest tarrifs.
Jun 1, 2012, 7:16 AM, Chris Mncedisi (email@example.com)
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