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Wednesday, Oct 16th

Benin intros new tariff rules on voice, data and SMS

Benin intros new tariff rules on voice, data and SMS

Benin Republic's telecoms regulator, the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) has introduced a new set of tariff rules aimed at lowering cost of voice, data and SMS and entrench tariff agreements between operators.

According to ARCEP it has now established a framework upon which operators will set new prices for their services.

ARCEP's Executive Secretary, Hervé Guedegbé, said the regulator decided to intervene to end subscriber discrimination and imbalance across networks.

The rules also mark the transition of the operators' focus from providing social media packages to data bundles.

"From now on, it will no longer be a question of a social network package but of an internet package," said Guedegbé.

The regulator's interventions focus on segmenting telecom packages and defining validity period for services.

Under the new rule, packages below 1000 Fcfa now have a validity period ranging from 1 to 7 days.

Packages between 1000 Fcfa and more than 15 000 Fcfa must be valid between 7 and 30 days.

For voice services, ARCEP directed operators to comply with the per-second pricing principle.

"For the fixed price of 500 Fcfa, the price per second will oscillate between 0.4 and 0.94 Fcfa. For packages of 500 to 1000 Fcfa, the price will be between 0.4 and 0.85 Fcfa. It will range between 0.4 and 0.75 Fcfa for the package between 1000 and 2500 Fcfa, and will continue to fall to oscillate between 0.4 and 0.55 Fcfa for the package above 15 000 Fcfa," the regulator stated.

ARCEP also introduced pricing limits for SMS and data. ARCEP said SMS cost must range between 2 and 5 Fcfa while data billing should be per MB and the cost must reduce as the bundle purchased by the customer increases as it is in neighboring Nigeria. 500 Fcfa package will range from 1.2 to 3.1 Fcfa per MB.

The regulator also introduced tariff rules for interconnection, setting the ceiling rate at 10 Fcfa per minute for voice service between all networks while SMS sent across networks is set at 2 Fcfa per unit.

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