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State to intervene in tariff talks

  • 2003-09-25
  • Baltic Business News
RIGA - The commission for regulation of public services said it might soon have to get involved in negotiations underway in the telecommunication industry on intermediate compound tariffs for home phone use.
Edvins Karnitis, a commission member, said that the fact that several large operators had been unable to agree on the intermediate compound agreements had led the commission to believe that it may be time to implement Article 9 of the Law on Telecommunica-tions, which stipulates that regulators may interfere in negotiations between market players in order to ensure effective competition.
Karnitis said that the commission would arrange a meeting in October with the operators in order to encourage all parties to sign agreements on reasonable tariffs, as well as to train newcomers on the market who might possibly lack knowledge of how intermediate tariffs work.
He added that the commission would most likely apply the six month term stipulated by the law for completion of intermediate compound negotiations, against operators who have not made progress in signing intermediate compound agreements.
Karnitis said he believed the tariffs proposed by operators were too high.
For example, Lattelekom has demanded 0.017 lat (0.028 euro) per minute from other operators for access to its network in the regions of Riga and Jurmala, whereas to other cities in Latvia it is demanding 0.05 lat per minute.
Tele2 has demanded 0.088 lat per minute for use of its network, while Latvian Mobile Telephone has asked for 0.085 lat per minute, VAT excluded.
According to Karnitis, these tariffs would not pass the expense ascription methodology test that the commission will implement next year.
Lattelekom has so far signed intermediate compound agreements with alternative operators Telekom Baltija and CSC Telekom, as well as renewed the agreements with LMT and Tele2.