Lower fees are to be charged for calls from mobile phones to landlines starting in April, as the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday reduced intermediate access charges among telecoms.
The current intermediate access charges were calculated based on data submitted by Chunghwa Telecom, which the NCC had designated a “significant market player” in the fixed telecommunications service market in accordance with the now-defunct Telecommunications Act, NCC Deputy Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
In compliance with the Telecommunication Management Act (電信管理法), which replaced the Telecommunications Act, the commission calculated new intermediate access costs using the total element long-run incremental cost model, a common measure used by telecommunications regulators to set access prices with the help of cost-based measures, Wong said.
Photo: Fang Wei-chieh, Taipei Times
Regulating intermediate access charges is key to maintaining a stable telecommunications market, Wong said.
“When users from two different networks communicate, one network operator should pay an access charge to the other. As such, the access charge is a cost that telecoms need to take into account when setting retail prices,” he said. “If a certain telecom sets an excessively high access charge, it would affect other telecoms, prevent newcomers from entering the market and hurt consumers’ interests.”
Most countries regulate access charges by examining the operating costs of telecoms, Wong said.
A new group of significant market players, which the commission is to announce in April, would be subject to new access charge schemes and other regulatory measures, he said.
Access charges from mobile phones to landlines from 8am to 11pm on weekdays are to fall from NT$0.4349 per minute to NT$0.3943 per minute in April, to NT$0.3575 per minute next year, NT$0.3241 per minute in 2025 and NT$0.2939 in 2026, the commission said.
For weekends and discount hours from 11pm to 7:59am on weekdays, access charges are to fall from NT$0.2059 per minute to NT$0.1883 in April, NT$0.1772 per minute next year, NT$0.1575 in 2025 and NT$0.144 in 2026, it said.
Meanwhile, access charges between landlines from 8am to 11pm on weekdays are to drop from NT$0.32 per minute to NT$0.3 per minute in April, NT$0.28 per minute next year, NT$0.26 per minute in 2025 and NT$0.24 in 2026, the commission said.
For weekends and discount hours from 11pm to 7:59am on weekdays, access charges would remain at NT$0.09 in April, but the rate from next year through 2026 would be NT$0.08, it said.
For long-distance and international calls, access charges during discounted and non-discounted hours would fall from NT$0.32 per minute to NT$0.31 in April, NT$0.29 per minute next year, NT$0.28 per minute in 2025 and NT$0.27 in 2026, the commission said.
“We hope that telecoms drop retail prices when intermediate access charges become lower,” Wong said.
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