Chinese regulators cut roaming, long-distance fees

Robert Clark
14 Dec 2009
Daily News

Chinese 730 million mobile users will pay less for roaming and long distance calls under a simplified charging structure announced Friday.

The new prices, announced by the regulator, the Ministry for Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and the National Reform and Development Commission (NRDC), eliminate “double-dip” charging for some roaming and long distance calls.

From January 1, users will no longer pay a local call fee as well as the trunk charge when making long distance or international calls from their home city.

For calls made outside their home district, customers won’t pay roaming fees while making international calls. However, they will continue to pay the roaming fee of 0.6 yuan (8.7 cents) a minute for domestic long distance calls.

The new rules are unlikely to impact on the financial results of the big carriers, whose charges for the most part already fall within the new rules.

The announcement in part formalizes current pricing practises and in part is a government PR exercise a month ahead of the annual Chinese New Year holiday.

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