February 24, 2014 00:00 By Usanee Mongkolporn The Nation
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will next month propose a three-year plan covering the new network interconnection rates for its telecom committee to consider.
Under the proposal, cellular and fixed telephone services have the same rates.
The new lower rates would encourage telecom operators to reduce call rates, an NBTC source said.
The source said that under the proposal, the new termination-interconnection rate for mobile and fixed-line operators would be Bt0.45 per minute this year before dropping to Bt0.34 per minute next year and Bt0.32 per minute in 2016.
The transit rate for fixed line and cellular operators would be Bt0.16 per minute throughout the three years.
The termination-interconnection rate is what the caller’s network pays the network for receiving the call on a mutually agreed basis per minute.
The transit rate is what the caller’s network pays the network routing calls to another network.
The NBTC held a focus group discussion with mobile and fixed-line operators last week to discuss the new rates.
The current and interim-termination rate for mobile phone services, which was announced last May, is Bt0.45 per minute.
There is no interconnection rate imposed on fixed telephone service operators as both TOT and CAT Telecom have declined to adopt NBTC’s charge regime.
The NBTC had planned to propose a five-year strategy for its telecom committee’s consideration so it would match the end of the cellular concession in 2018.
It had also planned to have different rates for fixed line and cellular operators.
NBTC source said the organisation expected TOT and CAT to adopt the new rates.
An NBTC consultancy firm linked to the new interconnection rate had suggested a rate for mobile phones of Bt0.21 per minute this year, Bt0.18 next year and Bt0.15 in 2016. It suggested the rate for fixed telephones should be Bt0.36 per minute this year, Bt0.34 next year and Bt0.32 in 2016 while the transit-rate for mobile phones and fixed telephones should be Bt0.02 and Bt0.16 per minute respectively.