Telecom Slashes Its Tariffs


Customers to ‘Pay for What You Use’ By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK Telecom Namibia has announced a new tariff structure effective October 1, 2006 which will include reductions in international tariffs and the introduction of ‘Per Second Billing’. In a media release yesterday, Telecom Namibia said the new tariffs are in line with the company’s undertaking to offer its customers affordable telecommunications services. On October 1, tariffs for fixed-to-fixed calls to Angola, South Africa and neighbouring countries will be reduced on average by 20%, 6% and 5% respectively, both during peak and off-peak hours. The cost of calls to most international fixed-line destinations outside Southern Africa will be lowered by an average of 15%. Fixed-to-mobile calls to most countries will also be reduced by 15%, with the exception of calls to Angola, RSA, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which will be kept unchanged. Mobile phone calls to neighbouring countries will now cost N$2.99 during peak hours and N$1.99 during off-peak calls, all VAT exclusive. This covers mobile phone calls to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland. On July 1 this year, Telecom merged the two national charging zones into one national zone. The company says this will in the long term benefit telephone users as long distance calls became cheaper. The majority of Telecom customers mostly make long distance and local calls. The biggest innovation is that Telecom Namibia will shift from a ‘Unit Based Charging System’ to ‘Per Second Billing’ as from October 1, a move the company says is aimed at improving its competitive position. ‘Per Second Billing’ means that customers pay for the exact amount of time they spend on the Telecom network. Charging will, in other words, be timed to the nearest second when the call is discontinued. Customers will only pay for the time used, the only provision being that every call will be subject to a minimum set-up charge in order for Telecom Namibia to cover the cost of setting up a call on the network as well as covering the first period of conversation time. The new charging system will apply to local, national, Internet dial-up and international calls (post-paid and pre-paid), except for payphone calls, operator assisted calls, radio calls, Inmarsat and calls for services such as competition lines. Fixed-to-cell calls will be charged for the first minute in full and thereafter in increments of one second. This charging system, Telecom says, will ensure that consumers are charged only for the time for which they use the service. In a ‘Unit Based Charging System’ consumers are charged for the full unit even when the consumer uses only a portion of that unit. Telecom says the reasons for introducing the new charging system include: – ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ Moving towards a simplified tariff structure that is clear to the customer; – ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ Creating the flexibility required in a competitive environment; and – ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ Addressing the needs of its customers, i.e. pay for what you use. Metering periods for payphone local calls will be adjusted from 65 to 60 seconds during peak hours and 130 to 120 seconds at off-peak times. The ‘Unit Based Charging’ system will still be applicable for payphone calls, and the unit charge will be kept unchanged at 50c per unit. Rates for services such as installation, monthly rental fees for business and residential customers, leased line rentals, telematics, ISDN and maritime services all remain unchanged.