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Reduction on Mobile Phone Roaming Fee Hammered out
    2008-02-13 21:42:43     CRIENGLISH.com
Chinese regulatory authorities have finally decided to set the ceiling of mobile phone domestic roaming fees at 0.6 yuan (8.3 US cents) per minute for outbound calls and 0.4 yuan for inbound calls, China News Service reported on Wednesday.

The decision came after the Ministry of Information Industry and the National Development and Reform Commission made some minor changes to a previous proposal that advised a maximum charge of 0.7 yuan for callers and 0.3 yuan for receivers.

Earlier reports from People's Daily said, based on statistics from telecommunication operators, the proportion of users making domestic calls is higher than those receiving them, thus the range of reductions in the final version is wider than in the previous proposal.

Mobile phone operators are allowed to set their own pricing systems, as long as they don't exceed the maximum charges, China News Service said.

Telecom operators are required to adopt the new pricing scheme as of March 1. Those who fail to recalibrate the pricing structure may be able to postpone enacting the standard until May 1, after receiving official permission.

Officials from the two ministries said although there is still room to further cut the roaming fees while maintaining profits, the reduction is constrained due to imbalanced development among telecommunication operators.

The current maximum charge for mobile phone roaming service is 0.8 yuan per minute for prepaid customers and 0.6 yuan per minute for other customers. The country's two largest operators, China Mobile and China Unicom, both charge for this service according to the maximum standard.
 
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