Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has clarified that the K120 annual subscription fees for all phone numbers will be covered by Licensees (service providers) and not subscribers.
The National Numbering Plan and the draft Numbering Fees Schedule which is currently under discussion at a Macra Consultative workshop in Lilongwe attracted reaction from Malawians who were against paying the annual fee.
Macra acting director-general Henry Silika said the annual subscription fee for mobile numbers is in line with the changing technology comprising 4G and latest 5G.
However, while Macra will charge the operators the numbering fee, the service providers have indicated that same fee will be passed on to consumers.
The introduction of the fee is to ensure efficient use of numbering resources and prevent hoarding tendencies.
Silika said the move is also aimed at curbing fraud by unscrupulous individuals who buy and use phone numbers to scam unsuspecting subscribers.
Silika said the fees are already being implemented in countries such as Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa among others and Malawi has been lagging.
The Communications Act (2016) on Section 87 as read with section 89(5), gives powers to Macra to regulate all electronic communication numbering resource and ensure efficient and effective use.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :