Digicel tells bemobile to explain war on high call rates

National, Normal

DIGICEL has challenged bemobile to clarify what it means by its war on mobile phone rates, saying its (bemobile’s) new rate represents a 70% increase for its existing customers and is nearly five times more than Digicel’s 11 toea rate.
Digicel CEO John Mangos said Digicel offered calls from 11 toea, which is 20% of the cost of the calls offered by bemobile; and text messages from 1t, which is 5% of the cost of the SMS on bemobile.
According to the rates listed on the Digicel PNG website, the flex tariffs and rates show that the charge for Digicel to Digicel is 99 toea/min (peak) and 49 toea/min (off-peak), while Digicel to bemobile is K1.70 for peak and K1.40 off-peak. Digicel to landlines in PNG is K1.50/min (peak) and K1/min (off-peak).
“There is not one plan which is going to fit all customers, and bemobile in trying to fit all its customers into one plan has actually increased the cost of calls to its own customers,” Mr Mangos said.
“This supposed war is simply a smokescreen for bemobile to increase their prices.”
Digicel said it had provided plans which suit late night customers, postpaid customers, Blackberry customers and provided services to assist in daily life such as checking the price of produce, topping up power, topping up phone from K1 and SMS banking.
Mr Mangos said contrary to statements made by the bemobile chairman, Digicel had invested K1 billion in PNG, which is six times more than the K160 million invested as stated by bemobile.
Digicel had more than 500 towers across PNG, covering four million people and had gone into areas which previously had no communications, he said.
“Simply put, we have gone out and delivered the best coverage, the best rates and the best services. We have not waited for anyone else to do it for us.”
Meanwhile, bemobile as of Sunday has been charging 49 toea on every call per minute 24 hours a day and the rate applies to bemobile to bemobile calls as well as bemobile to Digicel calls, whether it is peak or off-peak period. SMS rate for bemobile is 22 toea to both bemobile and Digicel.