Sri Lanka’s telecommunications regulator will introduce common floor rates for call charges effective from February 1 to ensure small operators remain competitive, Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting an official.

Charges on the same network will be raised by a maximum 50 percent, and charges between networks will be reduced by as much as 28 percent, the official said.

“Operators requested to review the floor rate, especially the small operators having a lower market share. When this type of tariff is there, they can compete with big operators,” Indrajith Handapangoda, acting Director, Competition, at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission told Reuters.

Sri Lanka has five mobile telephone network operators and three fixed-line operators.
Meanwhile, Fitch which last week revised the sector outlook to stable from negative said that SLT and Dialog had already paid Rs.1.02 billion and Rs.2.04 billion, respectively, by end 2015 for one-off taxes which were originally introduced in February 2015. The one-off tax on satellite direct-to-home TV operators and the recurring tax on prepaid services have been scrapped.

The 2016 Budget also proposes to structurally separate fibre, towers and spectrum assets currently owned by telcos to a special purpose company to be regulated by the Information and Communication Technology Authority.