Macedonia’s second fixed line operator Ontel, a unit of local ISP On.Net, has announced plans to expand its network and services to other parts of the country, as it looks to take the fight to the former monopoly operator Makedonski Telekom. Last month Ontel launched local telephony services in the capital Skopje, kicking off its commercial service with an introductory offer promising a free connection and free calls to other Ontel users. The unit is also offering calls to mobile numbers at up to 20% less than those of the incumbent, and promising a potential 60% saving on domestic long-distance (DLD) and international voice calls. Ontel began selling its service packages on 12 May — initially only in Skopje — setting its basic monthly fee at USD24.63 including 300 on-net voice minutes.
Ontel is now looking to expand to other cities by September 2008 but says it is being hampered by the high interconnection prices currently being charged by Makedonski Telekom. On 10 June parent On.Net said it intended to appeal to the Commission for Protection of Competition concerning the latest cut in the interconnection prices. On.Net is dissatisfied with the wholesale price of the incumbent which it claims are higher than the retail prices that Telekom is allowed to charge its own retail customers.