TRC takes action to stop operator losses

15 Jul 2010

Lanka Business Online reports that the country’s regulator has started enforcing minimum prices and interconnection rates in the wireless sector. The move is aimed at ending a fierce price war that has put the industry deep in the red. From today operators will have to pay LKR0.50 (USD0.004) for each voice minute terminated on another network, and LKR0.15 per text message. For new customers off-net calls must cost no less than LKR2 and LKR1 for on-net calls. Existing customers will be allowed to continue with their current tariff. ‘It is not the responsibility of a regulatory agency to ensure the profitability of telecom operators," wrote telecom policy researcher Rohan Samarajiva in Lanka Business Online. ‘Yet when every single operator in the country, including the incumbent [which] used to make profits even under inefficient government management, starts bleeding red ink, it is not possible for the government and the regulatory agency to sit on their hands. After years of bad policy decisions and regulatory inaction that led to a crisis in the industry, finally, the government has started to act.’

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