Telkom South Africa is preparing to cut its call charges across the board in preparation for increased market competition, Chief Executive Officer Sizwe Nxasana told a Parliament communications committee. The PTO’s high prices were criticised by President Thabo Mbeki in his state of the nation address last month, with the head of state bemoaning fixed line call rates that are ‘ten-times those of developed countries’. Telkom says that the forthcoming launch of the country’s second national operator (SNO) has prompted it to reduce its long distance call prices by ten cents per-minute and cut an average 28% from its international call tariffs (with calls to the US and UK now close to half their former price). Nxasana said that ADSL prices will be lowered incrementally as demand for the service builds but claimed that the company could not reduce local call tariffs any further without recovering its local loop investments. The telco has also made cuts to the pricing of its wholesale products.