Tuesday, June 29, 2004

TT: TSTT cut international phone rates 50%

Telecommunications provider TSTT has cut calling rates to most international destinations by 50 per cent.

Customers calling the Caribbean will receive a 40 per cent discount on the rates after four minutes, chief executive officer Samuel Martin announced yesterday.

New international rates mean that the $4 per minute cost of calling the US, Canada and the UK will from today cost $2 per minute. TSTT had previously reduced rates in 1990, 2000 and 2001.

"With this further rate reduction we are delivering on a commitment we made to customers to reduce these rates," Martin told reporters at a media round table discussion at TSTT's Edward St, Port of Spain offices.

The latest reduction comes in the midst of call centres having set up business around the country which charge $1 per minute for calls.

It also comes two months after the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) said the phone rates should come down.

But Martin said the reduction had nothing to do with the RIC and the reduction was not driven by the RIC although it was not ignoring the Commission.

Martin said TSTT was able to bring down the rates because it had negotiated lower settlement rates with overseas providers.
It's a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough. $2 per minute is still 100% more than $1 per minute. That means that TSTT will still lose revenues to call centers, and rightly so.

The name of the business is competition, and if TSTT wants to remain a viable company, they'll cut rates even more to give the call centers a run for their money. In that highly competitive environment, the interests of the consumer will be best served.

Now, I'm waiting to see what TSTT does with its ridiculously high internet rates.


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