Home / Regulators must restrict telco taxes: Ooredoo CEO

Regulators must restrict telco taxes: Ooredoo CEO

Telecoms taxes are too high and many regulators out of touch, CEO says

Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO, Ooredoo Group.
Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO, Ooredoo Group.

Heavy-handed regulation and high taxes on telecom operators are the biggest challenges in the MEA and Asia region's telecoms sector, according to Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO of Qatar's Oredoo Group.

The CEO said that there is a growing disconnect between the regulators' perception of how profitable the sector is and the reality for operators on the ground.

"The biggest challenge that we face today is the regulators' view that there is still huge growth, which is not the case in my view.

They are still trying to tax operators more but also charge them more for spectrum," Marafih told CommsMEA in a recent interview.

Marafih added that Ooredoo, along with other telecom groups in the region, must continue to deploy new infrastructure, including LTE, throughout its operations. But with profit margins declining, Marafih is doubtful whether operators can generate the levels of income they have enjoyed in the past.

"The challenge for the industry in the coming years is to have proper dialogue with regulators and policy makers to make sure that they don't exaggerate their fees or tax operators more," he said.