BUSINESS IN SHORT

ST increases charges at payphones

SLOVAKIA's dominant fixed-line operator, Slovak Telekom, will introduce a single rate for calls made through its public payphone network as of April 1, increasing call prices by 14 percent.

Until now charges for calls depended on whether they were placed at peak time, off-peak time or during weekends.

"Cancelling the time intervals will make charges more transparent," the company said in a statement.

According to the new scheme, a one-minute local call from a payphone will cost Sk5 including VAT, while a one-minute long-distance call will cost Sk9, and a call to a mobile phone in Slovakia will be Sk16 per minute, the SITA news agency wrote.

Slovak Telekom said that interest in the public telephone service has been falling by 33 percent a year, and that given the number of payphones across Slovakia, the rates so far have not covered the costs of investments, maintenance and repairs.

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