Consumers’ mobile data should not expire but must be rolled over – Gov’t instruct telcos

The Ministry of Communications has issued a directive to mobile network operators (MNO) in Ghana regarding expiration of voice and data bundles. The instruction states that all unused mobile data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers must be rolled over and must not expire if not used within the specified usage periods.

A section of the letter reads, “all unused mobile data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge.”

The directive was contained in a letter dated October 9, 2019, signed by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful and addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Joe Anokye with a copy to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication, Mr George Nenyi Andah and Mr Vincent Sowah-Odotei.

The letter, states that the move was following a series of meetings held between the Ministry, NCA and the MNOs.

The letter further explained that the directive is as a result of the increase in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from 6% to 9% and the subsequent decision by the MNOs to pass the entire burden of CST to subscribers contrary to a previous arrangement.

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We must emphasise that CST was increased from 6% to 9% to provide revenue for cybersecurity initiatives which protects the digital infrastructure and policies used by both the public and private sector”. “The tax has also been in existence since 2008”.

Meanwhile, all the four telcos in Ghana; MTN, AirtelTigo, Vodafone and Glo have since Ocotber 2019 charge customers the full 9% CST tax.

The increased CST applies to any recharge purchase by subscribers. In effect, the subscriber pays a 9% CST fee for every GH¢1 of recharge purchased. This leaves ¢0.93 for the actual purchase of voice or data bundles.


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