The Cambodian government has passed a law that will set minimum charges for the mobile sector in response to aggressive price-cutting in the crowded market.
The ministry of posts and telecommunications has set within-network tariffs at a minimum of $0.045 per minute, and cross-network calls at $0.0595 per minute, the Phnom Penh Postreported.
Operators will be able to run special promotions offering discounts of up to 50%, but only for a maximum of 30 days, and only with the prior permission of the ministry.
Companies blocking calls from rival operators – a common practice in Cambodia, according to the ministry – will now face severe penalties, such as the forfeiture of their telecoms licenses.
Operators on Wednesday met with the telecom ministry to discuss the edict.
The tariffs have been calculated based on the profit information provided by Cambodia's nine mobile operators, using a formula created by the ITU.
Government leaders, including the prime minister, have expressed concern that the price war has destabilized the mobile sector.
“We offered free-market principles, but operators kept having conflicts with one another, so the government needs to have a hand in it,” telecoms minister So Khun told local media.
Operators have until the 21st to make sure their prices and promotions comply with the law.