Antimonopoly agency’s decision to allow the communications service agency to raise mobile Internet prices will affect consumers, Faridoun Shoinbekov, the deputy head of the Tajik Consumers’ Union, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“It is quite strange that the Antimonopoly Agency has taken such a decision because this body is authorized by the government to protect rights of consumers,” said Shoinbekov.

According to him, this decision will have a negative impact on consumers.  

“Besides, this decision will affect further development of the market of communications services in the country,” the deputy head of the Tajik Consumers’ Union noted.   

“Moreover, the state antimonopoly regulation and control are used in the event of unfounded rise in prices in commodity market for the purpose of cutting prices but not vice versa,” Shoinbekov added.

Recall, by Antimonopoly Agency’s order on tariffs for telecommunications that was issued on March 4 mobile Internet is expected to rise in cost in Tajikistan beginning on March 27.       

The Antimonopoly Agency announced last week that as of March 27, mobile telecommunication services providers will be able to sell online data for no less than 0.05 somoni per megabyte and the price for one minute of mobile international call, including NGN communications, will amount to no less than 1.00 somoni (taxes not included).

The March 4 order was justified by a curious interpretation of the law of supply and demand.  Rajabali Mahsiddinov, an official with the Antimonopoly Agency, noted that mobile operators would now be in a position to provide better online speeds.

According to him, they commit to increase the Interne speed from 512 megabyte per second to 1,024 megabyte per second.  “Besides, mobile operators should provide 4G and LTE communications in the whole territory of the country,” Mahsiddinov said.