Egypt’s watchdog to investigate mobile operators

Egypt’s telecommunications watchdog reported that it has received a complaint from the country’s Consumer Protection Agency against the three mobile phone operators in the country, local media reported.

Egypt's Consumer Protection Agency filed a complaint against the three mobile phone operators in the country (image: file)

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) reported that it has called for an investigation into the matter, to see whether Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat Misr had a “secret agreement” that saw the companies increase prices for prepaid mobile credit cards.

According to the report, the watchdog ECA said that several complaints have been received from users alleging that since January, the three telecommunication firms have begun deducting EGP 0.51 each month from customers’ credit as “stamp tax,” although no such tax was stipulated in their contracts.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, there are 90 million subscribers to the three networks.

But with the government looking for a fourth mobile network and companies attempting to earn a larger profit, the reports are worrisome to the regulator.

The ECA told IT News Africa/ that the decision to investigate is part of the country’s overall efforts to ensure that subscribers have the best service based upon agreements made with their provider.

It is unclear what, if any, action would be taken if the companies are proven to have manipulated prices.

Joseph Mayton