Minister calls for 25% cut in mobile phone charges

4 May 2011

Mauritius’ minister for information and communication technology, Tassarajen Chedumbrum Pillay, is calling for a minimum 25% reduction in mobile interconnection fees before the end of May, Reuters reports. The minister says that the current interconnection and user fees of MUR0.90 (USD0.034) per minute are too high. ‘I have asked the Information and Communication Technology Authority to review the charges by not less than 25%. We hope to be able to have a tariff cut by the end of the month,’ he said.

Mauritius is home to around 1.2 million SIM cards, he said, although given the population is more than 1.3 million, the government believes the market is still not saturated. ‘The number of subscribers is on the increase,’ Pillay said, adding that any reduction in fees would ultimately be of benefit anyway to the incumbent operators. ICT contributed 5.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year for Mauritius, and Pillay forecasts that the figure will increase to 6.4% of GDP in 2011. ‘This will represent 23 billion rupees in terms of contribution to GDP,’ he said.