CAIRO: Akil Bashir the chairman of Telecom Egypt; the country’s only fixed line operator announced that due to losses incurred by the company in its local call service being estimated at LE 800 million, the company will raise prices and decrease free minutes allowed per residential line.
The monthly subscription fee will rise from LE 8-10 for residential lines and from LE 13-16 for commercial lines, with the cost of the first minute also increasing from LE 0.05-0.06. With 10.4 million subscribers in the country, the decision, while it may appear minimal, will make a substantial difference. The Daily Star Egypt took to the streets to gauge the public’s reaction to the announcement.
The increase in call prices wasn’t as much as it was made out to be in the newspapers. It is only LE 2 for the monthly subscription and 1 piaster for the first minute in the call. On the individual level it will not make a big difference, but it will help the company to continue supplying the customer with the service they desire.Hager, customer service.
All prices went up; first sugar, now the telephones. We always hear about the strong pound and the stable U.S. dollar exchange price, but apparently it is all a lie. Mohammed Mahmoud, accountant.
We have to admit that the service now is much better than before. I have no problem with the increased prices but my problem is with the unexplained bills. We receive unbelievable and illogical bills. How can a house where no one lives have a LE 500 phone bill? We can agree on any price they say but we want to pay for our calls only.Eman, housewife.
It is greed. What do they want from us? They have good profits and all the bills are enormously high. My own phone has been out of service for three months now because I can’t pay my bill. Ibrahim Ateya, businessman.
It should not be considered a raise; it is more like begging. It is a small raise but ordinary people will not see it that way. They will see it only as more payments and they will decrease their calls. I don’t think that Telecom Egypt will gain from this, not to mention that it came at the wrong time: after the raise in sugar prices. This will give an opportunity for the conspiracy theorists to talk. Ahmad Samy, student.
The problem is not in the phone calls; people can live without telephones. The problem is in the raise in the prices of basic daily needs, like wheat, oil and sugar. They made this step to distract people from talking about the increase in sugar prices. Soon they will make another increase to distract people from talking about telephone increases. This is the system in Egypt.Tarek Al Sharkawy, lawyer.
I think the answer is in what I did. I locked my home phone and have it set to only receive calls. If anybody needs me, he will call me.Mahmoud Ashour, Teacher.
Although the increase isn’t very high, are not our bills high enough? The users of the fixed lines are plenty; we also pay for things that are supposed to be basics, like the caller ID and the call-waiting services. The problem is that there is no other company to compete with Telecom Egypt.Thoraya, housewife.