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China Mobile moves to end two-way fees in Guangdong
Latest Updated by 2007-01-29 09:35:08
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Subscribers to China Mobile in Guangdong Province will not need to pay for incoming calls as of February, according to a changed billing plan announced on Friday by the telecom's Guangdong branch.

For the first time in China, the new billing scheme clearly allows "one-way charging" that sees the caller pay instead of a billing plan that has both caller and receiver pay.

"The billing scheme proposed by China Mobile's Guangdong branch has the go ahead from the provincial telecom administration and can be seen as implementation of a one-way billing scheme," noted Gu Weizhong, head of Guangdong Telecom Administration.

"Subscribers have long complained about the two-way charging scheme," he said. "The provincial administration encourages local mobile phone operators to lower charges and to end the practice of both callers and receivers paying for mobile phone calls," he said.

China Unicom's Guangdong branch will soon follow suit, he added.

Gu said that China Mobile's new scheme will be implemented exclusively in the province of Guangdong in its initial stage. Similar schemes outside Guangdong are subject to the official approval by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

Yang Panglian, a lecturer with Guangdong Polytechnic College of Post and Telecom, hails the new billing scheme.

"So many mobile phone subscribers have yearned for free incoming calls for so long," the teacher said. "And the mobile phone operators are technologically able to implement a one-way billing scheme."

A recent survey conducted by sohu.com, a leading Internet portal, on consumer attitudes towards one-way billing showed that 96.91 percent of the netizens are in favor of the plan, while only 1.21 percent are against it.

China Mobile and China Unicom, the two mobile phone operators in the nation, attempted to lighten the load of double billing when they launched an all-inclusive monthly fee as a means of attracting new customers.

Mobile phone service providers find that they must also compete with fixed-line operators China Telecom and China Netcom, which offer the Xiaolingtong service, a personal access phone system (PAS), in which incoming calls are free of charge.

Yang noted that one of the key stumbling blocks to one-way billing has been the problem of payment settlement among mobile phone and fixed-line telecom operators.

In China, fixed-line telecom service has long adopted a one-way scheme, and mobile phone operators have to pay fixed-line telecom operators 6 fen per minute when a mobile phone subscriber calls a fixed-line subscriber, but not vice versa, he explained.

"The one-way scheme would beyond doubt raise costs to a mobile phone operator if the problem is not solved," Yang said.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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