FIJI AGENCY CUTS TELECOM RATES UP TO 20 PERCENT

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 3) – Fiji's Commerce Commission today announced further reduction in Internet, mobile, fixed line telephone and prepaid telecard rates, most of which will see a drop between 10 to20 percent from October 1.

The last review in the rates was in October 2005 with reduced rates for local, regional and international calls varying between 9.8 per cent and 52.3 per cent. The drop in mobile call charges was about 70 per cent.

Today's announcement should now see a total drop of 20-80 per cent in telecommunication rates over the past two years when it comes into force next month bringing relief to consumers (both residential and businesses) who have continued to complain of high telecommunication rates which the carriers continue to dispute.

At a press conference today, the Commerce Commission has determined the following changes.

For both fixed line residential and business customers, inter region rates will be cheaper by 10 per cent (down from 20 cents to 18 cents per minute now); international calls by 20 per cent (from 75 cents to 60 cents per minute) while fixed to mobile call rates will drop by 10 per cent (49 cents now to 44 cents per minute).

However, charges for services provide by Telecom using satellite (VT-SAT) remains the same.

Telecom's existing charges for retail internet dial up services are to be reduced by 20 per cent. The untimed local call rate is to apply to dial-up internet access calls for both business and residential (including primary and secondary schools and charitable organsations) customers, the commission says.

Charges for leased lines on the digital data network (DDN) are to remain at current levels.

In addition, charges by Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd for lease of bandwidth to customers will be reduced by 20 per cent,

This includes FINTEL's IPLC charges via Southern Cross Cable Network which have been reduced by 20 per cent for all speeds between 64 kbps to 2048 kbps.

Charges by FINTEL for frame relay and other data transmission charges to customers are to be reduced by 20 per cent (from 64k to 2048k).

FINTEL XPLC bandwidth charges to customers are to be reduced by 20 per cent as well.

All fixed line pre paid tele-card rates will be reduced by 10 per cent. Calls types include: local where call rates will drop from 40 cents to 36 cents (for first 20 minutes and $0.018 per minute thereafter); inter region calls goes down to 34 cents per minute (from 38 cents now); mobile call charges will go down to 34 cents per minute (from 39 cents currently), while International calls also drop by 10 per cent.

Quick dial retail rates are to be reduced by 10 per cent and call types include local, inter, mobile v-sat, international. The commission says the quick dial cards are to be renewed monthly provided the balances available at month end are transferred to the renewed accounts.

In addition, the Commission says fixed line prepaid cards are to have a validity of 6 months with total renewal of validity, including for carry forward balances, from the date of recharge, subject to credit remaining.

Mobile retail charges (prepay nights and weekends) go down by 10 per cent. Call types that will see prices falls include mobile to mobile (peak, down from 52 cents per minute to 46 cents/min, off peak, down from 35 cents/min to 31 cents/min), mobile to fixed line (peak, down from 49 cents/min to 44 cents/min, off peak down from 30 cents/min to 27 cents/min), voicemail, mobile to international. There have been no price changes for texting.

Mobile's voda 44 - post paid rates will see a drop of 10 per cent. Call types include mobile to mobile (peak), mobile to fixed, mobile to international. There have been no changes to texting rates.

Vodafone's Voda 33 - post paid rates will drop by 10 per cent for mobile to mobile, mobile to fixed and mobile to international. There have been no changes in access fee, voicemail and txt.

The Commerce Commission says mobile prepaid cards valued at $5 are to have validity of 2 weeks. Mobile prepaid cards priced at $11 and $15 is to have a validity of 3 months access plus one month grace. Mobile prepaid cards of value of $21 and above have a validity of 6 months access and one month grace, will cards to be granted total renewal of validity including for carry forward balances, from the date of recharge, subject to credit remaining.

All other rates remain the same.

 

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