Agreement With ArmenTel and Armenia Underway

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian Government and the ArmenTel company have nearly reached an agreement on the terms of introducing a per minute billing system in Armenia. Reliable sources have told Noyan Tapan that as a result of negotiations–one of the key conditions of passing over to per minute billing of local calls was changed. Instead of 120 minutes of free time–the limit is set at 360 minutes a month. The cost of these minutes is included in the monthly fee which is left unchanged: 900 drams for apartment calls and 2,700 drams for juridical persons. Official sources yet abstain from giving information on this account–as the agreement has not been signed yet.

Vazgen Manukian–the leader of the National Democratic Union and head of a parliament ad hoc commission that was looking into how ArmenTel is meeting its contractual obligations–said the outcome of the talks will be publicized by Justice Minister David Harutunian–who leads the government delegation in talks with ArmenTel.

Manukian said that not only the government–but the company as well seems to be unhappy over the terms of the license that granted ArmenTel a 15-year monopoly in communication area. He also added that ArmenTel has admitted it will not be able to digitize nearly 800 rural settlemen’s across the country.

Manukian also said that the TVT company–ArmenTel’s owner before it was sold to the Greek OTE–was the only company that benefited from the deal. Manukian called for setting up a special commission that would oversee the communication sector. According to him–the communication market must be open to other companies as well–and the monopoly of ArmenTel must be canceled.

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