Gov’t mulls slashing calls, data charges – NCA

Gov’t mulls slashing calls, data charges – NCA
Rape victim talking on the phone in the women and girl friendly centre in Aweil where the GBV hotline is manager. [Photo: ARC/Lual Deng]

The government will do everything in its power to address concerns about rising communication service prices, said Napoleon Adok Gai, Director-General of the National Communication Authority.

Mr Gai stated on his Twitter page over the weekend that he is aware of the public outcry caused by expensive internet bundles charged by mobile communication networks.

“I have taken note of the public outcry in regard to the cost of telecommunications services while (QoS) (quality of service) remains very poor in some areas,” says Napoleon Adok Gai, Director-General of the National Communication Authority.

Gai’s message was a cleverly shaped response to an editorial cartoon in one of the dailies that depicted the NCA as doing minimal to address the shooting prices of telecommunications services.

He termed the message incorrectly and said that the cartoon was misrepresenting the actual truth.

“We are not sleeping anywhere; we are more than awake on your behalf,”

He said, “I would like to assure the public that NCA has embarked on reviewing the operation and costing of services by all operators to ensure that people get value for their money.”

The telecommunications networks began implementing the tariff exchange rate on September 15, 2022, and have been doing so in phases for the past three months.

MTN’s minimum daily internet bundles of 100 MBs have now increased from SSP250 in September to SSP515, with Zain following suit.

Weekly subscriptions for 1 GB internet bundles have also increased from SSP2,120 in September to SSP4,370 in November.

Customers of Zain and MTN, on the other hand, will now need to pay around $100 to subscribe to 12GB MTN monthly bundles.

South Sudan now has the highest internet costs in the region due to the readjusting of mobile tariff rates in accordance with the Central Bank Exchange Rate.

One gigabyte of mobile internet currently costs $7 (4,370 SSP) in South Sudan, while that costs $0.84 USD on average in Kenya, $0.75 in Sudan, and $1.32 in Uganda.

The decision, which has now doubled the prices of mobile internet and voice bundles from the September rate, has enraged the public, with many claiming they can no longer afford to telecommute.