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Telecom firms blasted for charging triple for cellphone-to-land line calls

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Consumers' Foundation (CF) recently blasted several telecom carriers for charging triple for mobile phone-to-landline calls as compared to landline-to-mobile phone calls.

According to Lin Tsungnan (林宗男), professor at National Taiwan University's Department of Electrical Engineering, Taiwan's call rates have consistently remained the highest in Asia, and that phone calls run through the exact same system regardless of whether they are made by mobile phones to land lines or vice versa.

The fact that telephone companies are charging more for one than the other is entirely unreasonable, Lin said.

Rates for calls made by land lines to mobile phones are divided into the two categories of “regular hours” and “discount hours,” according to the CF.

Callers are charged NT$0.8605 per second during regular hours and NT$0.04302 per second during discount hours, the CF said.

One of Far Eastone's payment packages charges NT$0.148 per second for calls made by mobile phones to landlines, which is 1.72 times more than the regular hour rate for landline-to-mobile phone calls and 3.14 times more than the discount hour rate, according to the CF's report.

The CF also listed several other firms, including Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Asia Pacific Telecom and Vibo Telecom, which also feature similar disparities in landline-to-mobile phone and mobile phone-to-landline rates.

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