15 Oct 2004

Fiji consumer watchdog raps mobile phone provider

11:18 am on 15 October 2004

Some of the highest charges in the world imposed by the monopoly mobile phone company, Vodaphone Fiji, are under attack.

The Fiji Times reports that the Consumer Council of Fiji has asked the Commerce Commission to overhaul mobile call charges as part of a telecommunications pricing restructure.

Vodaphone Fiji's main shareholder, Telecom Fiji, had earlier proposed increases in line rental charges of more than 1,000 per cent but withdrew its proposal under fierce public criticism and says it will put forward a new tariff plan.

One submission to the Commerce Commission pointed out that in neighbouring Tonga, charges for local calls by mobile phone are 18 cents a minute while in Fiji they are $1.80 a minute.

Mobile phone charges in Samoa are just a fraction of those in Fiji.

Charges for the Telecom Fiji-owned Internet service provider, Connect, are also under fire, for being among the highest in the world