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Morocco most expensive for mobile minutes

Survey finds that Morocco has the highest average cost of prepaid and postpaid cellular minutes in the Arab World, while Egypt offers the lowest average cellular minute costs

Egypt has the region's lowest average prepaid and postpaid minute rates.
Egypt has the region's lowest average prepaid and postpaid minute rates.

Morocco has the highest average cost of prepaid and postpaid cellular minutes in the Arab World, while Egypt offers the lowest average cellular minute costs for prepaid and postpaid, according to a recent survey of 53 operators in 19 Arab countries.

Morocco was found to have the highest postpaid average minute cost in the region, followed by Mauritania. As for the prepaid average minute rates, Morocco also has the highest average rate followed by Lebanon.

Egypt was at the other end of the scale, having the region's lowest average prepaid and postpaid minute rates.

"Enhanced competition in the Arab cellular markets has caused operators to adopt per- second billing or fractions of a minute," said Zeena Al Borgan, Arab Advisors Group senior research analyst. "As of March 2010, an array of 15 different billing methods was in use by 52 cellular operators in the 19 covered Arab countries."

Arab Advisors found that 12 of the 19 covered markets it surveyed impose taxes on cellular services, these are: Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. It said that Jordan boasts the highest sales tax rates on cellular services in the region followed by Tunisia and Morocco.

The governments of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries and Libya do not impose taxes on consumers' use of cellular services, added Faten Bader, Arab Advisors Group senior research analyst.