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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Telephone rate cut said first of many

Telephone rate cut said first of many

R ates for international calls on non-cellular phones are being cut by an average

of 10 per cent from the start of next month and there are more reductions in the

pipeline, the Royal Government has said.

Under Secretary of State Koy

Kim Sea at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications said the rate for calls

for countries in the top price band was coming down from $5.30 to $4.80 and

other countries were being moved down the banding system to make them cheaper by

an average of 10 per cent.

Sea said: "We are planning to make further

reductions, perhaps this year and we are hoping to make rates comparable with

most other countries in the next three or four years.

"We also have plans

to install new networks and hope that the lower rates will attract more people

to use their phones or have one put in."

Currently the Kingdom's

international phone rates are some of the highest in the world and have drawn

some criticism from both the business and private sectors.

Russell

Stuart, country manager for Telstra OTC Australia, which operates the

international phone network welcomed the drop in prices.

He stressed

that the company had no say in pricing but added: "As a customer myself I think

it's a good move."

Stuart denied that rates were artificially high and

pointed out they were comparable to neighboring countries such as

Vietnam.

He explained: "It is inevitable that rates will be high here

when the system is only servicing 2,500 users, compared to countries such as

Finland which has three million. However we have great hopes for the future of

telecommunications in Cambodia."

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