SUNBIZ

Authority Looks Into Mobile Issue

Vodafone Fiji says the administration and issuance of telephone numbers is the authority and responsibility of the Telecommunications Authority of Fiji and has nothing to do with them. The response
13 Nov 2014 08:13
Authority Looks Into Mobile Issue
Shailendra Prasad and Premila Kumar

Vodafone Fiji says the administration and issuance of telephone numbers is the authority and responsibility of the Telecommunications Authority of Fiji and has nothing to do with them.

The response follows claims by Consumer Council of Fiji saying Vodafone and Inkk Mobile customers are losing purchased credit without knowledge when participating in promotions.

Consumer Council chief executive, Premila Kumar, said the number similarities used by both companies were creating a lot of confusion in the marketplace.

Vodafone Head of mCommerce & Corporate Affairs, Shailendra Prasad, said: “As an operator, we in turn allocate numbers to our customers based on the number series being allocated to us by TAF in the first place.

“However, as we understand it is a rather difficult task on the part of TAF to manage the big demand for telephone numbers against a limited stock of available phone numbers,” he said.

It is clear therefore, that this is also a similar case with Inkk Mobile.

Mr Prasad said: “This issue has been discussed between TAF, Consumer Council and Vodafone and TAF is fully aware of the issues raised by the Council.”

Telecommunications Authority of Fiji acting chairman, Shivnesh Prasad, said theyhad received the concerns by the council and are ‘currently looking into it’.

When asked when they would give recommendations, he said he was not in a position to make any further comments until they had properly analysed the issue.

Ms Kumar said: “When it specifically says Inkk to Inkk, Vodafone to Vodafone that’s sound so when consumers are making the call, they know the call is off-net then you can make a decision but this approach is definitely unacceptable.

“The Council’s audit on mobile number allocation shows Inkk mobile numbers start with “95, 96, 98, 84 and 87” prefix while Vodafone mobile numbers start with “80, 83, 86, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 97 and 99.”

The council says it’s concerned there is no pattern or sequence in allocation of numbers.

“If consumers are losing money in a fair way, it’s ok but they’re losing money in an unfair way,” she claimed. “So they need to be protected.”

Inkk Mobile is expected to respond when it has assessed the claims by Mrs Kumar.

Inkk Mobile is a joint venture company which is Fiji’s third mobile service provider. It has built a base of about 250,000 customers..

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 



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