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 Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Information & Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) of Mauritius has forced the country’s telecoms operators adopt new lower rates for mobile and international long-distance (ILD) calls, following the passing of a new directive on 30 April. The new rates, which came into effect last Wednesday, include an MUR87 (USD0.032) reduction in the standard interconnection usage charge (IUC) for fixed and mobile networks, paid by carriers for every minute of communication. The ICTA had asked operators to submit revised retail tariff plans based on the lower IUC rate so that end users could benefit from less expensive calls. In the wake of a poor response, however, it said that it would ‘intervene in the interest of the general public’. To that end, the regulator is understood to have imposed a MUR87 reduction in the cost of making a mobile call to a fixed line, bringing the per-minute charge down from MUR4.35 to MUR3.48 a minute, using a pre-paid card. In the international segment calls have been cut to as little as MUR4 per minute to some destinations. Commenting on the ICTA’s move, Michel Rigot, the managing director of Outremer Telecom, said ‘Liberalisation in the telecommunications sector brings major tariff reductions along. What happened this week is a concrete example. Now, the Authority should think about introducing a real liberalisation process in other segments like internet that is still controlled by one operator, Mauritius Telecom.’

Source: TeleGeography.