Sci & Tech

New Landline Costs to Rise

New Landline Costs to Rise
New Landline Costs to Rise

Landline telephone tariffs, which for years have been criticized by those active in the fields of telecoms, will change in the near future.

The Telecommunications Company of Iran has become one of the largest private firms in the country since its privatization a few years ago, ISNA reported.

TCI has also been pushing for a "moderation" of prices, stressing that telecoms tariffs have remained unchanged for many years. The government, however, did not agree to make changes.

Now after a long time and following a managerial reshuffle at TCI, Mahmoud Vaezi, the minister of communications and information technology, said in mid-May that landline tariffs will rise in a month.

The minister explained that TCI has made notable investments in different areas. He believes that the current tariffs, 30 rials ($0.009) per minute and 500,000 rials ($14) for purchasing a landline, are too low and must be revised.

TCI has announced that it plans to increase the price of purchasing a landline up to five times the current tariffs.

A member of the board of directors at TCI had stated that setting up a new landline costs between 8 and 10 million rials ($228-285).

According to Latif Vasli, currently 6 million landlines are not being used in the country.

Despite the fact that TCI must pay for the maintenance of the lines, they bring in no revenues for the company. Therefore, a hike in charges could prompt customers who do not use the lines to return them to TCI.

A report published by the deputy for planning and strategic monitoring of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology showed that international data show prices of landlines in Iran are the lowest among the regional countries.

Davood Zareian, spokesperson of TCI, had also noted that the company had submitted a formal request to Iran's Communications Regulatory Authority in the last Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016).

"With the ratification of these requests, some of the company's problems in the area of development could be removed," he said.

According to the official, landline tariffs have not changed since 2003.

In the latest meeting of CRA held this week, the issue remained undecided.

According to Ali Asghar Amidian, the head of CRA, the issue was discussed and different price schemes were assessed in the meeting, but a final decision was not reached.

"Since the issue is very critical," he said, "it was decided to hold a separate specialized meeting to sort out this issue."