Eesti Telefon's new tariffs under fire

  • 2000-01-13
TALLINN (ETA) - If the fixed-line telephone company Eesti Telefon, a
monopoly, does not submit a full business plan to the Ministry of
Transport and Communications, the company cannot raise tariffs,
Minister Toivo Jurgenson said Jan. 10.

Eesti Telefon wishes to raise call rates for individual consumers
this year while lowering those of commercial users, with the aim of
balancing tariffs by the end of the year when the concession
agreement of the company ends.

The new tariffs can be implemented only with government approval.
Eesti Telefon has thus far submitted 3- and 10-year business plans
alongside the tariffs reshuffle program. The ministry wishes to
receive a thorough business plan which it has received in the
previous seven years.

Eesti Telefon this year decided not to submit a full business plan,
citing business secrets in its new form as a stock exchange company.

According to bourse requirements, Eesti Telefon would have to
distribute the business plan among smaller stockholders. This would
be harmful for the company, said Toomas SÎmera, head of the Telefon

Jurgenson said that the need to submit a business plan has been
included into the concession agreement. Telefon said the volume of
the plan has not been fixed in the agreement.

Eesti Telefon intended to bring new calling rate packages to the
Estonian market this year, offering various monthly fees and call
charges, dependent on the use of the phone.

Eesti Telefon had a nine-month turnover of 1.8 billion kroons ($120
million) last year with a profit of 246 million kroons.