BUSINESS BYTES

Ministry changing phone rates

The Ministry of Transportation, Post and Telecommunication is preparing a proposal to adjust phone price rates. While the tariff is now based on an impulse lasting six minutes at 1.80 Sk, the ministry's proposal is to introduce two different categories for day and nighttime usage. During peak hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), the impulse will be shortened to three minutes, while the rate stays at 1.80 Sk. During night hours, the current level (1.80 per 6 minutes) will remain. The proposal has already been approved by the Cabinet.

While rates will increase for daytime usage based on impulses, standard international calling rates in Slovakia are expected to go down, since Slovak rates are much higher than surrounding countries. These price adjustments should become effective after October or November this year. The prices of basic telecom services are to be liberalized in the EU in 1998 and in Slovakia in 2002 at the earliest.

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