LTA condemns MNOs’ ‘illegal’ service charge hike

9 Oct 2020

Telecoms industry regulator the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) has criticised what it considers the ‘illegal and arbitrary increases’ in voice and data services being charged by domestic mobile network operators (MNOs) Lonestar Cell-MTN and Orange Liberia. In a statement LTA said: ‘This this act as illegal price fixing, collusion, and antitrust conspiracy. 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 imposed a floor price on voice and data services, and forced the MNOs to stop offering ‘3 days free calls’ promos in September 2019. Further, it was expected that the operators would hand over the proceeds of revenue derived from the practice to the government. Whilst the two operators claim their ‘New Term of Services’ are designed to comply with the September order, the LTA considers their new terms are ‘far in excess of what is required for implementation of any order and designed for profiteering and political purposes’. As such, it has given them twelve hours to cease and desist, or face the consequences and necessary measures.