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Experts criticize telecommunications price hike

The Syrian newspaper Al-Watan criticized the rise in fees for telecommunications services, especially since this is accompanied by a further worsening of the services provided, and the Syrian Telecom justification for raising tariffs with the aim of improving the quality of service is not achieved.

The pro-regime newspaper quoted a professor at the Faculty of Economics at Damascus University, Shafiq Arabsh, as saying that raising prices and wages is no longer acceptable, as a few days ago the prices of petroleum derivatives were raised, electricity prices were also raised, in addition to the fees for communications services being raised.

Arabsh added that the quality of communications and Internet services in Syria is always lower than the quality of services and Internet in neighboring countries, and this is self-evident, well-known, and beyond doubt, pointing out that in Syria there is the worst quality of communications and Internet services at the highest prices compared to the level of the citizen’s income.

The expert pointed out to Al-Watan that when comparing telecommunications and Internet services in Syria with the services provided in neighboring countries, the income of the Syrian citizen must be compared with the income of the citizen in these countries, and what the phone bill constitutes of the Syrian citizen’s income and the income of the citizen in neighboring countries must be compared, stressing that the phone bill has become today, it constitutes a burden on the Syrian citizen in light of the weak purchasing power.

Yesterday, the regime's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority raised the fees for fixed-line telephone and Internet services, so that the new fee for installing a regular fixed-line phone became 22,500 pounds for one time, and the monthly fixed-line subscription fee, which includes 150 free local calls and 75 country minutes, is 2,300 pounds.

The national minute fee from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. has also become 8 Syrian pounds, the national minute fee during reduced hours and on Fridays has become 4 Syrian pounds, the fee for transferring a fixed telephone or ISDL has become 11,500 Syrian pounds, the fee for inquiring about a bill has become 6 Syrian pounds for one time, and for replacing the number is 300 Syrian pounds for one time.

According to the new decision, ADSL internet subscription prices were raised to become, as of the first of March, 0.5MB speed 7,500 pounds, 1MB speed 10,800 liras, 2MB speed 15,000 pounds, 4MB speed 25,000 pounds, 8MB speed 42,500 pounds, and 16MB speed 54,000 pounds. 24MB speed is 75,000 pounds.

The fees for a one-time installation of a new gate, moving a gate within the same center, and the waiver were set at 22,500 pounds, and the fees for reducing the speed were set at 1,500 pounds.

​​($1=14650 SYP) according to S-P Today website that covers the trading rate of the Syrian pound to the dollar)

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