Since almost everything in Lebanon is being priced on the black market dollar rate, fears have risen amongst Lebanese that mobile credit top-up will follow soon.
Phone shops have witnessed a rise in sales by almost 50% in the recent period as many are charging their phones one year ahead.
Raising the prices and costs of services that belong to state institutions, including the telecommunications sector, might only be a matter of time.
The telecommunications and internet sector had been witnessing many practical and financial problems in having to keep maintenance flowing with the lifting of subsidies on diesel.
All these problems have contributed to a slower service in the speed of connection and service.
The Minister of Communications Johnny Corm reassured citizens that his ministry seeks to address these obstacles.
“The pricing of telecommunications services is still the same in Lebanese pounds, and there is no vision to modify it at present,” Minister Corm said in a statement.
His words do not seem to have reassured people, hence many are panic-buying before prices suddenly increase.
Walid Kanso a mobile shop owner in Mount Lebanon tells 961News: “The number of customers coming in to buy charging service had doubled as people have lost trust in the words of government officials.”
Kanso added: “ I still sell at the same price, the small card is 20,000 which is equivalent to less than a dollar, and the large card for 40,000, I guess this is the only thing that people still find cheap in this country.”
It was remarkable that in one of his recent talks, the ministry of communications was examining the option of issuing cell cards with limited duration.
This might be to prevent the hoarding of cards that could be later sold at a higher rate.
In practice, if this is achieved, the mobile bill will become an additional heavy burden on people in Lebanon.