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Cellular rates halved in 3 years in Kazakhstan

12 july 2012, 13:53
Cellular rates in Kazakhstan have been more than halved during the period of 2009-2012, Tengrinews.kz reports.

The average cost of one minute made 13.5 tenge (9 cents) with Kcell cellular network operator and 13 tenge per minute (8 cents) with Beeline cellular network operator in 2009. The average cost of one minute amounts to 5.3 tenge (4 cents) with Kcell and 5 tenge (4 cents) with Beeline in 2012. ALTEL cellular network operator developed in the opposite direction however: it increased the rates from 5.6 tenge per minute to 6.2 tenge per minute between 2009 and 2012.

The average time Kazakhstan cellphone users spend talking on their cellphones has increased in 2009-2012. Average Kcell users talked 92 minutes a month 2009, Beeline users talked 85 minutes a month and ALTEL users talked 170 minutes a month in 2009. Whereas in 2012 Kcell users talk over 160 minutes a month, Beeline users talk 203.4 minutes a month and ALTEL users talk 116 minutes a month in 2012.

Cellular operators profits per user have reduced during these three years. In 2009 Kcell operator got 1492 tenge ($10.1) a month per one user and ALTEL got 956 tenge per month ($6.5) per one user. In 2012 Kcell gets 1223 tenge ($8.3) a month and ALTEL gets 720 tenge a month ($4.5) per one user. Beeline, however has retained its profits almost unchanged: 1127 tenge per month ($7.6) per one user in 2009 and 1105 ($7.5) in 2012.

The first tangible drop in cellular prices was registered in 2010 in Kazakhstan when the Ministry of Communication and Information of Kazakhstan decided to abolish the connection fee. Before than Kazakhstan mobile users had to pay for the call set-up in addition to the cost of the first minute during the call. This brought the cost of the first minute to as much as 25.57-43.14 per minute (17 to 30 cents). Thanks the axing of the fee the highest cost of the first minute in 2012 makes 8-20 tenge (5 to 14 cents).

Billing increment was reduced from 10 to 1 second in 2011. Decrease of the interconnect rate also contributed to reduction of the overall cellular rates. Kazakhstan's interconnect rate hadn't been changed since 1999 and made 19,98 tenge (14 cents). This rate spurred the cost of calls between different cellular network operators. The rate was cut 15-20% in 2011 as the result of an agreement between Kazakhstan mobile phone companies and the state regulator. It was decreased by another 10 percents in 2012.

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