A consumer advocacy group yesterday criticized local telecommunications operators for unreasonable rates, calling on them to reduce prices to match those charged by Skype.
The Consumers' Foundation (
The foundation called the rate differences unreasonable because mobile service providers can also charge the recipient of a call made from a landline phone to a mobile phone.
Foundation chairman Cheng Jen-hung (
He also said calls made from landline phones to 3G phones should not cost more than those made to 2G phones because callers do not have access to image functions.
The foundation found that First International Telecom Corp (
The foundation called on the National Communications Commission to require that telecom operators slash rates to match First International Telecom's.
The nation's telecom industry regulator yesterday said it would not request a flat rate, believing it could hamper market competition, the Central News Agency reported, citing an unnamed official.
In addition, the commission questioned the survey's accuracy, saying it was misleading to compare the rates charged by PHS operators with those of 2G or 3G operators.
Chunghwa Telecom Co (
"Chunghwa Telecom rates are based on the service packages our subscribers choose and not on whether 2G or 3G technology is being used. In addition, we believe rates should be determined by market mechanisms, not by us," Shih Mu-piao (
Shih said he disagreed with the foundation's call to cut rates for calls to landline phones to NT$0.055 per second.
Chunghwa Telecom users pay NT$0.1 per second for mobile-to-landline-calls.
Vibo Telecom Inc (威寶電信), an exclusively 3G service provider, said its service packages should prove most economical, as it found in a survey that only 10 percent of calls from 3G phones were placed to landlines.
Vibo charges the same voice rates for calls made within Vibo's networks or made to phones on other operators, it said.