JUBA, March 1 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan's telecom regulatory body said on Friday it has increased by 40 percent both local and international telecom call rates in a bid to shore up the sector.
Ladu Wani Kenyi, director of the National Communications Authority, said in a statement in Juba that the new approved rates will commence on March 7 and that these increments are necessary to safeguard the availability of services and security in the country.
"The National Communications Authority would like to inform the general public that due to the depreciation of the South Sudanese pound (SSP) to U.S. dollar the mobile network operators requested a review of the current tariffs exchange of 70 SSP (0.5 U.S dollars) to 170 SSP (1.08 dollars) because the revenues they currently generate cannot cover the cost of their operations and maintenance of networks," Kenyi said.
He said that under the One Area Network, an arrangement between South Sudan and neighboring countries under the East African Community, the voice call rate will increase from 0.5 dollars to 0.10 dollars.
There are only two telecom companies operating in South Sudan. They are South African giant MTN and Kuwait-based Zain.