Mobile phone cost increase: experts against it and consumers angry

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Mobile phone cost increase: experts against it and consumers angry

Thousands of young people expressed anger on Facebook last week because the cost of making mobile phone calls has become significantly more expensive since December 4. The rises are at least 4.5 cents for calls made within the same network and 5.95 cents for calls made between different networks, according to Prakas 232, which was released in 2009 but not enforced until a week ago.

Users of low-cost provider Smart Mobile left close to 800 comments on its Facebook page following the announcement that there would be no more special promotional call rates.

“Expenses are higher but the salary is the same. How can Khmer people live?” one user wrote.

Kaka Carefree shared this view and appealed to the authorities: “I hate that policy please take a look at the many people that have a financial crisis in the family, they need to reduce their expenses. Please think it through deeply.”

In a press conference last Monday, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Prak Sokhon explained the measure, stating that the government needs the additional tax revenue to pay for the expenses of social programs. In addition it would benefit the consumers in the long run because it strengthens competition within the market – a view economic specialists disagree on.

Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, told the Post on December 4 that consumers would actually lose the most from the policy, saying that there was “no upside for them at all”.

Denis Schrey, head of the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Cambodia, told LIFT in an email last Monday that the Prakas could cause people to reduce their mobile phone use, depending on how price sensitive they are.

“It is very possible that people will communicate less, especially in rural areas.”

In response to the concerns of Facebook users who spoke out against the regulation, Sokhon held a press conference, saying: “I am not concerned about whether they protest against this regulation.

“What I fear are people who understand the regulation but pretend to not understand it.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman