Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

The cost of calling between mobile networks to drop

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Domestic mobile telephone calls between networks are to become cheaper after the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved a plan to reduce access charges between different third-generation (3G) mobile phone network operators to NT$0.571 per minute by 2020.

The commission said access fees between different mobile phone networks is set at NT$1.15 per minute, but starting this month the fee would drop to NT$0.965 per minute.

Between next year and 2020, the fee would drop further to NT$0.811, NT$0.68 and NT$0.571, the commission said.

Industry experts said that the commission’s move would further drive down the cost of calling between mobile phone networks and lead to lower communication charges for mobile phone users. Current fees are the result of past reductions that brought calling between networks down from between NT$1.8 and NT$2 per minute.

However, NCC spokesperson Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that access fees usually account for between 2 and 3 percent of the revenue for mobile phone operators, adding that access fees are only one of the many costs that the mobile phone operators have to consider when they set the communication charges.

The model that the NCC used to generate the fee reduction scheme was different from the ones used by mobile phone operators when they calculated costs, Weng said, adding that the operators might not change the fees if costs in other areas increase.

“The main purpose of the fee reduction was to facilitate competition in the market,” Weng said. “We looked at the cost of connecting different mobile phone networks in Taiwan, which is higher than that of neighboring countries. Even though we are set to drop the access charge, it is still higher than in other countries.”

Though the frequency bands of 3G telecom networks are to be returned to the government after the license expires next year, 4G telecom service operators still have to switch back 3G networks to provide voice communications service, Weng said

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