Beginning on 1 February 2000, Telenor will change its pricing structure and cut call prices for its GSM mobile phone customers. Calls will be billed in seconds with an initial charge, making it cheaper to call and send text messages. All in all, the move will give net price reductions of NOK 250 million (more than 31 million USD) in 2000. This is a seven per cent cut, or NOK 150 per GSM subscriber (nearly 19 USD).
Billing in seconds means that the customer pays for the exact duration of the call in seconds and not, as before, for the number of 15-second units.
“New technology makes it possible to end the old call-unit billing, allowing more future-oriented and correct pricing. Customers will now only pay for the exact call time used,” explains Stig M. Herbern, Managing Director at Telenor Mobil.
At the same time, an initial charge of NOK 0.45 will be levied on all calls. This is because there are special costs involved in connecting a call.
“The introduction of the initial charge is a result of the necessity of having prices which reflect our costs,” says Herbern and emphasises that in this price restructuring, Telenor Mobil is following the same trend as others, including Telenor (land lines) and Telia. This is also an international trend, as a result of more modern billing systems being adapted to the development of increased data traffic.
Cutting prices by NOK 250 million
More customers and increased traffic leads to lower prices. For this reason, Telenor Mobils subscribers will again benefit from reduced call and text messaging prices. The net effect of the changes introduced on 1 February in 2000 will be price cuts of NOK 250 million (more than 31 million USD), equivalent to seven per cent. This means an average annual saving of NOK 150 per GSM subscriber (nearly 19 USD).
In the main, the most expensive call types will benefit most from the price cuts, although it will mean cheaper daytime calls for all customer groups.
The price of text messaging (SMS) will be reduced from NOK 1.50 to NOK 1 (from USD 0.19 to 0.13) for all customers with a fixed subscription. It will also be cheaper for all Telenor Mobils customers to send text messages from Telenors Internet site when the price will be reduced from NOK 1.50 to NOK 1 as early as 1 December this year, and will be further reduced to NOK 0.75 (USD 0.09) from 1 February next year.
Easier to choose subscription type
From 1 February it will also be easier to choose a suitable subscription. The number of different subscriptions will be reduced by combining “Proff” and “Proff Pluss”, and also “Privat Pluss” and “Privat”. Lower call prices over the past few years have reduced the differences between these subscription types. It will now be easier for the customer to decide which subscription fits best from the selection: “Proff”, “Primær”, “Privat”, “RingKontant” and “Zalto.com”. Customers who are affected by the change will be notified directly. The changes have no negative effect on prices.
Prices cut by 67 percent in 5 years
Telenor Mobil has reduced call costs for its customers by a total of 67 per cent over the last five years. This year alone, prices have been cut by 12 per cent. “And we expect prices to continue to fall,” added Herbern.
Norway already had very low prices for mobile calls, even before the change to the new price system. According to surveys conducted by Eurodata/OECD in August this year, Telenor Mobils customers, both private and corporate, were top of the statistics on the lowest mobile costs in the world.
The change in price structure only applies to the GSM networks. There will be no changes for the NMT networks.