Vimpelcom: mobile tariffs could rise significantly

20 Jun 2006

Russian mobile operator Vimpelcom said yesterday it might raise its call tariffs if fixed line phone companies do not sufficiently compensate for their costs following the introduction of the calling party pays (CPP) system on 1 July, which strips cellcos of all revenues from incoming calls. Vimpelcom spokeswoman Yulia Ostroukhova told Itar-Tass: ‘If we receive less than RUB1.12 (USD0.041) per minute, we will most likely take measures to avoid operating in the red,’ but added that raising tariffs would not be the only solution, as there are ‘other instruments’ available to the company. Vimpelcom and its fellow mobile companies, state telecoms holding company Svyazinvest and regulator MinSvyaz agree that the average price of an outgoing call from a mobile phone may rise by as much as 30% to 40% after 1 July. Earlier on Monday, the Federal Service for Tariffs set the maximum price of a call from a fixed line phone to a mobile number at RUB1.5 per minute (effective across most regions of Russia), to take effect at the same time as CPP.