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||10 September 2009
Cambodia sets up task force to tackle telecoms feud
Cambodia Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) has formed a temporary task force to address the ongoing dispute between mobile operators Mobitel and Beeline over alleged price-dumping and blocking of competing networks, the Phnom Penh Post quoted the ministry officials as saying.
Minister So Khun instructed the head of the new body, Sarak Khan, secretary of state at MPTC, about the initiative Tuesday morning, the Post was told, after a meeting on August 14 between the two operators, the government, Telecom Cambodia and the rest of the sector failed to resolve the feud.
In last month's meeting, Beeline agreed to raise its cross-network tariffs from $0.05 per minute to $0.06 by September 1, according to an MPTC letter sent to all operators. In return, Mobitel had been asked to cease blocking calls from Beeline's network.
However, Mobitel - as well as Hello and Smart Mobile - have said this week that in keeping pricing at $0.05 per minute for existing customers on the controversial "Boom" tariff "forever", Beeline had effectively failed to abide by its agreement. The Moscow-based operator stopped taking new customers on the tariff as of the September 1 deadline.
"We have created a task force to deal overall with pricing," So Khun said. "The task force will begin operations as of now."
Details on the proposed plans of the ministry remained unclear Tuesday, but task force head Sarak Khan said his team would draft a code of conduct that would likely be made into a sub-decree edict.
The process would be separate from the ongoing drafting of the Telecommunications Law, he added, and had become necessary to plug a gap in current regulations as a result of the dispute. It would continue to contribute to regulation of the sector once the law is passed, he said.
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