Customers cut mobile phone services in bad economy

The number of customers accessing the internet through mobile phone networks declined significantly in past months, according to a government report. Experts attributed the decline in spending on mobile services in general over the past few months to the adverse economic situation.

A February report from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said the number of internet subscribers through mobile phones dropped 18.3 percent from 9.9 million subscribers in October of last year to 8 million subscribers in November.

However the report also found that the number of mobile subscribers increased to more than 81.7 million from about 80.9 million last October. With the new numbers, the prevalence rate of mobile service in Egypt is 100.8 percent of the population.

Meanwhile, the number of landline phone service subscribers continued to decline. The report said there were 8.6 users in Egypt last November, compared to about 9 million users in the previous month. The prevalence rate landlines declined to 10.8 percent, from a previous 11.3 percent.

There is a noticeable decline in the size of spending on mobile services, said Engineer Tariq Saeed, a communications expert. He said that a large segment of users dispensed with extra mobile phone services during the bad economic conditions.

Saeed said that many sectors were negatively affected by the down economy, but especially the telecommunications sector. He said many households reduced expenditures on phones and internet rather than cut back on food, health and education spending.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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