4 Companies Support New Phone Rates

Four of the country’s five phone companies banded to­gether Friday to present a joint letter of support for new government regulations that reduce fees companies pay each other to deliver calls.

“All of us fully agree with and totally support the…new regulation,” wrote representatives of the CamIntel, CamTel, Samart and Shinawatra companies in a letter to So Khun, the minister of Posts and Telecommunications.

The letter was signed at a press briefing Friday by Nhek Kosal Vythyea, managing director of the government’s joint venture CamIntel; Somchai Lert­wiset-Theerakul, CEO of Samart; Trairat Kaewkerd, general manager of Shinawatra; and Sakdi-noi Leangtongplew, Cam­Tel’s assistant managing director.

Representatives from Mobi­Tel, the nation’s leading mobile phone company, were not present to sign.

“Now, all of us [four] companies will have cooperation in order to improve telecommunications in this country,” Somchai said.

The companies were not coming together in order to make themselves more competitive against MobiTel, he said, only announcing their mutual support for the new regulations.

Still, MobiTel was not invited to join, Somchai said.

Some of the points in the letter to the ministry were in direct opposition to views espoused by MobiTel earlier this month.

In several letters written to the MPTC, MobiTel general manager David Spriggs said his company would be forced to reduce investment, threatening to cancel $20 million in proposed projects.

The new regulation, which cuts from $0.07 to $0.01 the so-called interconnection fees companies pay each other, would damage investment in the country, Spriggs wrote.

Investors came before interconnection regulations were put in place in 1997, said Nhek Kosal Vythyea, so those fees should not be the driving force behind investment now.

“The telecommunication investors that come to Cambodia should not bear in mind the making of profits from Interconnect fees, but their profits and revenues should come from their best services,” the letter states.

All of the representatives agreed that the regulations would mean savings to customers, but none could immediately say how much, or when.


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