Monrovia – The Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) says its attention has been drawn to what it termed as “illegal and arbitrary increase in cost of service (voice & data bundles) by both Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange under the pretense of complying with the surcharge order”.
According to a press statement Thursday, October 8, 2020, “the LTA regards this act as illegal price fixing, collusion and antitrust conspiracy.
Meanwhile, the warned that “under relevant provisions of the Liberia Telecommunications Act of 2007, no ‘Term Services” can be increased without approval of the LTA.”
It can be recalled that in February 2019, the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) released LTA Order: 0016-02-25-19 which introduced floor prices on voice and data calls. This order was implemented on September 2019 and led to the cancellation of the widely popular “3 days free calls, and the increment in the price of data.
“The New Term of Services been promoted is far in excess of what is required for implementation of any order and designed for profiteering and political purposes”, LTA said.
Early Thursday morning Mobile Operators began the implementation of new charges on voice calls and data. Initially, US$2 could purchase 1.2gb of data, but with the new charges, US$2 can now get half of the amount (600mb)of data while the US$1 for 45 minutes of on-net voice call has been reduced to only 15 minutes of voice call for the same amount.
“The Mobile Network Operators are hereby given 12 hours to rescind this illegal price increase or face appropriate punitive measures”, the statement said.