Vietnam telcos want to charge 30 pct more for foreign calls

TN News

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Vietnamese telecommunication providers have proposed to increase their fee on calls from overseas to Vietnam by more than 30 percent, saying Vietnamese charges are cheaper than in many other countries.

The proposal by Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT) to the Ministry of Information and Communications asked to raise the fee from 6.1 US cents a minute to 8.1 cents, which will raise the telecoms' revenue by some $12.1 million a year, news website VnExpress reported.

A similar proposal from the military-run Viettel asked to charge the same fee from February.

VNPT and Viettel are pocketing 80 percent of money from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocal) foreign calls. They are paid by foreign telecoms for connecting the calls to Vietnam.

"The new fee will guarantee that we telecoms make profits and will increase the foreign reserves in state budget," the proposal said.

A VNPT spokesperson said 8.1 cents a minute is a reasonable fee compared to the average fees in the region and worldwide while Viettel said the charge increase will help local telecoms counter losses due to free calling on Skype and SMS services like Viber.

The fee was earlier increased from 4.1 to 6.1 cents a minute after the government in August urged the ministry to adjust it to make sure local telecoms make profit.

Revenues from the calls in 2013 increased $75 million over 2012 and contributed significantly to telecoms' profit, the companies said in their reports.

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