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NBTC endorses new draft on interconnection charges

NEW NETWORK interconnection charges - those applied to phone calls between two different networks - are expected to come into force in July. They will apply to both mobile and fixed-line telephone operators, said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

The NBTC board endorsed the draft of these new reference rates yesterday, and fixed-line operators such as TOT and CAT Telecom will be obliged to adopt them. The operators will use these rates if they fail to reach a mutual agreement among themselves on the interconnection rates.

The new call-termination rate for mobile and fixed-line operators will be Bt0.45 per minute, and will drop to Bt0.34 per minute next year. The termination rate is what the caller's network pays the network receiving the call.

The transit interconnection rate for fixed-line and cellular operators will be Bt0.16 per minute for the next two years. The transit rate is what the caller's phone company pays the network routing calls to another telecom provider.

These new interconnection rates might prompt the fixed-line telecoms to adjust their call rates from the present flat Bt3 per call to any other fixed-line telephone.

The present interim termination rate for mobile phone calls, which was announced last May, is Bt0.45 per minute.

The NBTC is scheduled to hold a public hearing on this draft on April 10 and the rates are expected to be effective in July.


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