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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Operators team up in criticism of Beeline

Operators team up in criticism of Beeline

FIVE mobile phone operators have stepped up their accusations of price-dumping against rival Beeline by sending a letter to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) requesting "urgent action".

The September 3 letter from Mobitel, Hello, Smart Mobile, qb and Mfone to Minister So Khun obtained by the Post Sunday accuses Beeline of violating an August 14 promise to raise cross-network tariffs from US$0.05 to $0.06 per minute.

"We respectfully request MPTC to take urgent action so as to compel Beeline to abide by [the agreement]," the letter says, requesting an "emergency meeting with Beeline to discuss this grave issue".

Beeline took out full-page ads in The Cambodia Daily on Saturday saying that "contrary to media speculation" it had met its obligations of the agreement - which also required Mobitel to stop blocking connectivity - by ceasing to take new users on its "Boom" tariff from September 1.

The tariff offered callers cross-network rates at $0.05 per minute. However, it promised existing subscribers they would still benefit from the low call rate, which other companies said was in violation of an agreement detailed in a ministry letter to the sector on August 17.

The ministry Tuesday established a task force chaired by Secretary of State Sarak Khan to resolve the dispute, in which Beeline has accused Mobitel of blocking interconnectivity.

The task force met Friday, according to an official who asked not to be named, and will draw up regulations on pricing and interconnectivity that will be enshrined legally as a prakas (edict) or sub-decree, Sarak Khan said last week.

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