August 2011 – The investigative parliamentary committee looking into the status of the telecommunications sector in Iraq and the Communication and Media Commission (CMC) have mandated that Asiacell permanently substitute its per-minute billing system to per-second starting from 21st August, 2011. The decision corresponds with the committee’s telecom directives issued on 27th July, 2011.
Under the per-second billing system, each Asiacell subscriber will receive IQD 3,500 worth of credit as a gift from the company. All calls will be billed according to the new going tariff of IQD 2/second; thus a 20-second call made by any Asiacell subscriber will be charged IQD 40.
All offers provided to Asiacell’s prepaid, Youth, Almas and Gold Line subscribers will remain unchanged. However, at certain times and in specific areas call prices will switch to IQD 1/second based on each offer’s details.
Despite receiving the CMC’s directive over a year ago, Asiacell continued to offer its subscribers the option of choosing either the per-minute or per-second billing system in order to preserve their best interests and enable them to choose the tariff that suits their specific needs.
On account of the numerous Asiacell subscribers who obtained their SIM cards before the company acquired its most recent license in August 2007, which stipulates that calls should be billed per second, Asiacell provided a user-friendly, free-of-charge mechanism that enables subscribers to switch from the per-minute billing system to per-second at their convenience. Asiacell also left these subscribers the option of adopting the per-second system on all their new lines in compliance with the CMC’s directives and the issued license.
Asiacell legally strove to keep both systems optional, but after the insistence of the CMC and the Iraqi parliamentary investigative commission, the company was forced to adopt the per-second billing system exclusively effective from 21st August, 2011, to avoid incurring significant financial penalties.