26 Jan 2011 17:07

Kazakh ministry tells mobile providers to scrap connection fees

ALMATY. Jan 26 (Interfax) - The Kazakh Ministry of Communications and Information has issued an order eliminating the mobile call connection fees.

"As you may know, today all mobile operators have price plans, which include call connection fees to be paid by the subscribers. The Communications and Information Ministry has issued an order, with the approval of the State Agency for Competition Protection, to abolish the fee starting February 1," Kazakh Communications and Information Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev said in his blog Wednesday.

According to the order, starting February 1 the mobile operators will have to switch to per second billing from today's per ten-second billing system for all calls within the network and to outside networks.

The billing interval for international roaming services will also be reduced from a minute to 30 seconds. The minister promised that this billing interval would be further reduced to 10 seconds in the first quarter 2012.

There are three GSM mobile operators in Kazakhstan: GSM Kazakhstan/Kcell (K'cell and Activ brands owned by FinTur and Kazakhtelecom), KaR-Tel (Beeline brand controlled by Russia's VimpelCom) and Mobile Telecom Service (owned by Tele2).

In addition, JSC Altel, a subsidiary of Kazakhtelecom, provides CDMA communication services.