No Adjustment on Mobile Phone Charges in Recent Two Years: MII

No plan will be submitted to the State Council for any adjustment in mobile phone call charges this year and next year, Wu Jichuan, Minister of the Information Industry said Thursday, November 30.

When commenting on media reports at home and abroad on the adjustment of mobile phone call charges in China, the minister made it clear that these reports do not represent the view of the government department in charge.

Adjustment and reform on telecom fees will concern the interests and benefits of the general public and various parties, he said, adding that public hearing should be held on any proposed readjustment plan in accordance with related regulations.

Furthermore, it is technologically a very complicated job to revise charge counting systems, which requires sufficient time to get prepared, he added.

The government department in charge of the industry has always been cautious towards the readjustment in telecom fees, according to the minister.

Wu's remarks followed that of a ministry spokesman who recently refuted spreading rumors that drastic adjustment of telecom fees, including those of mobile phone calls, Internet accession and fixed-line communications, will drop sharply by the end of the year.

According to statistics, the number of China's mobile phone subscribers has witnessed a double-digit annual growth over the past three years, reaching 65 million by September this year.

Yueyang Mobile's Free Receiving Call Service Stopped

On November 29, the MII ordered Yueyang Mobile Communications Co., a unit of China's largest mobile phone carrier, China Mobile Communications Corp., to stop letting mobile phone users receive calls for free.

Dometic mobile phone companies are waiting to see whether the ministry will loosen current rules that require mobile phone users to pay for received as well as dialled calls.

Confusion over the new rules and concern that changes could eat into revenues has caused share prices of China Mobile and rival China Unicom Ltd. to drop on Hong Kong's stock exchange.

Official Refutes Immediate Adjustment of Mobile Fees

Earlier, it's widely rumoured that the current dual-way charging of mobile phone communications will be changed to one-way alone.

Some local newspapers reported that the proposal of one-way charges, 0.4 yuan (5 US cents) per minute for mobile communications, has been submitted to the State Planning Development Commission (SPDC), the country's pricing watchdog.

However, a spokesman of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) refuted the rumors, saying that the final adjustment proposal has not yet been hammered out.

"The final result, whether one-way charge or not, will come out soon," said the spokesman.

By PD Online staff Li Yan

People's Daily Online ---