Lietuvos Telekomas, Lithuania's monopoly fixed-line phone operator, is set to raise tariffs for fixed-line calls to mobile networks by about 40 percent during peak hours and about 60 percent in the off-peak period beginning Sept. 1.
Lietuvos Telekomas will charge 2.10 litas ($0.56) for calls to the Omnitel mobile network during peak hours. The off-peak rate will be 1.28 litas.
Call rates to the Bite GSM network will be raised to 2.21 litas and 1.33 litas, respectively, and rates to the Tele2 network will be increased to 2.38 litas and 1.44 litas respectively, the company said July 23.
Currently, Lietuvos Teleko-mas offers the lowest rates of 1.49 litas and 0.78 litas respectively for calls to the Omnitel network. Rates for calls to Bite GSM and Tele2 currently stand at 1.61 litas and 1.75 litas during the peak hours and at 0.84 litas and 0.91 litas during off-peak time respectively.
Lietuvos Telekomas also applies a call set-up-charge of 0.14 litas to fixed-line calls made to mobile networks.
The fixed-line phone operator said the decision was made because the existing tariffs for fixed-line calls to mobile networks fail to cover service provision costs, as consumers indirectly pay the bulk of the price for the service to mobile operators.
Lietuvos Telekomas said it was prepared to continue talks with the country's mobile operators and cut rates for fixed-line calls to mobile networks provided that the mobile operators agree to reduce their share in the service price.
"During more than two years of negotiations, Lietuvos Telekomas has been trying to agree with the mobile operators on the reduction of price to the end-user, but the talks have been unsuccessful," said service development director Harri Suokko.
Lietuvos Telekomas holds the monopoly on fixed-line services until Dec. 31, 2002.