Protection of consumersí rights is a national and humanitarian duty that should be respected and enhanced on both the International and Arab levels. In the field of telecommunications, consumers are not full aware of their rights or types of services provided. Awareness is the primary role of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).
Egypt is one of the pioneer countries that focused on consumersí rights especially in ICT sector. Telecom law no.10/2003 stipulated the formation of the Consumer Rights Protection Committee to protect the users of telecommunications services in Egypt. The Committee starts as an affiliate to the NTRA and it is planned to turn into a non-governmental organization in a coming stage. The NTRA is in fact the first Egyptian authority, with a mandate to protect consumersí rights, enhance non-monopolistic policies and free competition. It is within the mandate of the committee to organize conferences and seminars to raise the consumersí awareness, tackle concerns and interest of the consumers in an attempt to solve all related problems. The CRPC comprises a spectrum of renowned public figures interested in telecommunications market and consumers rights protection. Dr. Amr Badawi, the executive president of the NTRA is the chairman of the committee.
The committee primarily focuses on guaranteeing that the mechanisms of the market contribute to providing the consumers with best quality services at affordable prices. It ensures the availability of a market free of all monopolistic policies or any harmful practices and marked with transparency and balance between the main interacting parties in the market, namely, the government, the service providers and consumers. The committee is in charge as well of enhancing the awareness of the end user regarding his/her rights.
Strategy of Work
- Raising telecom consumersí awareness through sessions and lectures dealing with consumersí duties and rights, types of services and used technologies .
- Providing recommendations in the following aspects: means of consumerís rights protection, free competition, prevention of monopoly, universal service, rights of the disabled and measuring the market response to new services .
- Following up on the status of telecommunications services through sub-committees .
- Preparing an awareness document for telecommunications users
- Defining the consumerís areas of interest as well as the negative and positive impact of telecom services .
- Drawing up suggested market studies and field researches to estimate response to the provided services .