THE Fiji Commerce Commission has given all players in the telecommunication industry seven days to submit their interconnection rates before it makes a final determination on interconnection rates for next year.
Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy said the commission hoped to make a determination, taking into account the costs of telecommunication services in Fiji, in comparison to benchmarked countries, the business model, the network operators and the state of Fiji's economy.
He said the commission intended to make public its determination in two weeks.
"Interconnection charges are rates which one network operator levies on another in order to accept a call from the other network operator and terminate the call in its network," Dr Reddy said.
He said a reduction in the interconnection rates would eventually result in a reduction in the final retail call rates that individuals, households and business pay for communication.
Dr Reddy noted that telecommunication was a major medium of communication and that any reduction in prices could have a major implication on cost of doing business and overall economic growth.
"The call for submission is a direct result of the extension of the Interconnection Services Price Control Order for another three years by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum," he said.
Dr Reddy said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum in approving the extension of the Price Control Order, noted the submission from Fiji Commerce Commission, which identified the three network operators in Fiji — Vodafone Fiji Ltd, Digicel Fiji Ltd and Telecom Fiji Ltd — hold Substantial Market Power (SMP) for calls terminating into their network.
"The commission noted that given the above scenario, absence of a Price Control Order could be detrimental to the growth and development of Fiji Telecommunications industry and thus economic growth," he said.
The commission intend to make public its determination in two weeks time.