Ayman Essam, head of the legal and external affairs at Vodafone, said that the increase in prices of prepaid top-up cards approved by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) may affect the consumption of customers.
Essam told Daily News Egypt that market studies have to wait for a full month to measure the impact on consumption patterns, noting that the current increase policies were not approved by mobile operators, but imposed by NTRA.
The NTRA had rejected a proposal offered by Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat to launch an offer in which the companies bear the 30% increase in card prices, but the offer was declined by the authority, which also approved the same request made by Telecom Egypt (We).
Essam refuted the rumours that the companies sought to increase the prices of cards at the current scheme. He explained that the companies had another proposal six months ago, which was rejected by the NTRA, before it passes the increase in the current form.
The four companies have starting selling the cards at the new prices with launching new offers to clients, including granting more balance, or doubling the Internet quota on the 4G plans, which was officially launched on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Minister of Communication and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady and leaders of mobile operators.
The NTRA has devalued the value of prepaid cards by 30%. For example, the EGP 5 card is for EGP 5 instead of EGP 5.5, and the customer gets EGP 3.5 instead of EGP 5.20 worth of credit. The EGP 10 card price is EGP 10 instead of EGP 11, and the customer gets a balance of EGP 7 instead of EGP 10.40. The price of an EGP 15 card is EGP 15 instead of EGP 16.5, and the customer gets EGP 10.5 instead of EGP 15.60.The price of an EGP 25 card is EGP 25 instead of EGP 27.5, and the customer gets a balance of EGP 17.5 instead of EGP 26. As for the price of the EGP 50 card, it is at EGP 50 instead of EGP 55, and gives the customer EGP 35 worth of credit instead of EGP 52. The price of an EGP 100 card is EGP 100 instead of EGP 110, and the customer gets EGP 70 instead of EGP 104 worth of credit. The price of a card of EGP 200 is for EGP 200 instead of EGP 220 and gives the customer a balance of EGP140 instead of EGP 208. The customer receives 70% of the value of any means of adding credit.