By LEAH SORIAS, www.newsday.co.tt
Consumers from today will talk more for less after a decision by Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) to reduce international calling rates by half. The plan is effective from today. TSTT CEO Samuel Martin made the announcement yesterday at a news conference at the company’s Independence Square head office. Additionally, rates for calls made to neighbouring Caribbean countries have been slashed by 40 percent. Users of the "Talk Fuh So" card service will now pay $1, nine cents less than before. The company also announced the discontinuance of its 10-10-335 service. Martin said calls made using this feature were time-consuming to customers. Earlier this year, TSTT admitted that international calling centres were "cutting in" on TSTT’s profits by $4 million per month. This "new competitive environment," Martin said, caused the company to reduce its international rates.
He denied, however, that the reason for reducing international calls was related to the threats of new mobile competitors and the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC). International cost cuts, Martin explained, would apply to customers using both fixed residential lines and mobile phones. However, the 40 percent discount on calls to Caribbean islands would only apply to customers with fixed lines. The discount would come into effect after the fourth minute of call time. He added that customers with fixed lines who signed up for the Talk n’ Save package, will continue to receive a ten percent discount on direct calls to a maximum of three designated international numbers of their choice. Fourteen years ago, TSTT reduced rates to the US from $5.50 to $5. In 2000 there was another decrease to $4.50 and in 2001, $4. At the top of TSTT’s priorities, Martin added, were plans to reduce the cost of cellular calls, to improve the GSM Network and to improve the service culture of the company.
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