Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MTN: "We're a corporate citizen first and foremost and we have to listen to our government”

SHOOT: Government has to find some extra money somewhere so consumers can pay for their electricity.
Karel Pienaar

That’s the word from Karel Pienaar (pictured), MD of the mobile group’s SA operation, who says MTN is a “corporate citizen first and foremost and we have to listen to our government”.

Both operators have introduced prepaid tariff plans that offer the same calling fee structure all day, in both peak and off-peak periods. Though the off-peak rates are higher than other prepaid calling plans, the peak-time rates offer consumers significant savings.

The wholesale rates were reduced following extensive political pressure.

“If government has a need for us to decrease pricing, we will find a way to do that,” he says. “But we’ll do it in such a way that we don’t destroy our business [in the process].”

Pienaar says the pressure has come from communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda and from parliamentarians. “There’s been pressure from consumers, too,” he adds.

“I think we’ve done a superb job of coming up with a balanced offering at world-competitive pricing.”  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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