The price of certain cell phone models has been reduced in Ecuador as a result of the resolution of the Foreign Trade Committee (Comex), which establishes the elimination of tariffs (0% rate) for products such as smart phones, tablets and computers.
The measure is in effect ack-dated to October 8th. The telephone tariff was 15%. For computers and laptops it was 10%.
In some commercial premises there are already new prices showing up. For example, a Samsung A10 phone that cost $145 went down to $135. A Samsung A20 that was selling for $185, today goes for $175.
In other places, the values have not yet changed, pending the renewal of stock. In some places the price has not changed despite having new merchandise. Oswaldo Flores, owner of a place that brings cell phones from Colombia and Peru to the country, mentioned that from his providers, the same cost is maintained.
In the case of computers, in one company that sells these products, prices are maintained since they still have merchandise. One of its executives mentioned that the new values would be reflected with a new import that could occur in the next few months.
According to Jorge Cevallos, director of the Association of Telecommunications Companies (Asetel), which brings together twelve telephone, pay-TV and internet companies, at points of sale that brought in new products after October 8th, prices have been reduced. However, he added that it cannot be generalized, because those who still have inventory could keep the values up until they finish selling, or assume the tariffs paid because of competition pressure.
Increased cost of cellular plans
Although Cevallos sees the elimination of tariffs as a positive thing that will bring benefits to the user, he questions the intention to create an ICE of 10% to postpaid mobile plans. This would generate about $100 million for Ecuador.
More than half of the users of the postpaid segment have contracted plans of $15 or less per month, said Cevallos. According to figures from the Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (Arcotel) as of August of this year, there are 4,402,114 postpaid lines. Meanwhile, there are 11,453,741 prepaid customers.
He estimates that it could affect the demand, the income of the operators and the taxes.
“We have a measure that makes the acquisition cheaper, but we also have one that increases the fee that users must pay each month. We are concerned that it does not contribute to the digitization efforts and above all it will affect those customers who have lower plans,” he said.
Extracted from Diario El TELEGRAFO