Mobile carriers may seek to raise service costs due to oil price hike
mobile phone network operators Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone logo

CAIRO: Following recent oil price hikes ratified by the Cabinet on July 5, the mobile phone network operators Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone may increase the cost of recharge cards to cover additional expenses caused by the spike in fuel prices, a National Communication Regulatory Authority (NCRA) inside source told Anadolu Saturday evening.

“The past hike in oil product prices will add an additional 4 billion EGP ($559.24 million) to the operating expenses of Egypt’s three mobile operators annually,” the source said.

He added the three mobile operators are using about 5 million tons of diesel fuel monthly, at an annual cost of 8 billion EGP. He said Vodafone Egypt is using 2 million tons, Etisalat 1.8 million tons and Mobinil 1.2 million tons of diesel monthly.

But some experts say increasing the cost of charge cards is not the only solution the mobile phone carriers have in dealing with the added cost of doing business in Egypt.

Ihab Said, the head of the communication division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, told Al-Bosla news that the mobile operators could instead raise the cost of calling minutes on their mobile plans. However, either increase will have to meet the approval of the Ministry of Communication along with the NCRA, he added.

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