Overseas call rates to dive

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 January, 1999, 12:00am

THE cost of international telephone calls is expected to be slashed as early as tomorrow, after the termination of Hongkong Telecom's monopoly.

Other companies are expected to follow Telecom's move, bringing rates down across the board.

Telecom now charges customers $6.80 per minute to call the United States on its 001 service. Last week City Telecom, known as CTI, cut its off-peak rate to the US to 66 cents per minute.

The liberalisation of the overseas calls market will also see an improvement in the quality of voice traffic as Telecom is obliged to offer capacity on international lines to its rivals.

Calls to the mainland are not included in the latest round of liberalisation, but charges are expected to fall. The Government has set a new wholesale rate at which Telecom must sell capacity on mainland lines to its rivals.