Cost Base

Feb. 21 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s telecom tariffs will be put to the test under a new cost based study initiated by the island’s telco watchdog. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) this week called for expressions of interest from consultants to develop a cost based tariff table, studying the three fixed and four mobile service providers.

The proposed five month study will give the regulator a base tariff it can use to approve network operators’ calls for tariff revisions, TRC Director Economic Nelum Jayaweera told LBO.

Telecom industry officials said earlier tariff approvals were largely based on what the Commission considered œreasonable costs to the consumer and not primarily on an actual-cost based model.

Must Have

In 2005, a consumer lobby took the regulator and fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to courts and argued that the tariff hike increased the cost of a call above rates in the Asian region.

The case filed by Consumer Association Lanka reportedly argued that Sri Lanka Telecom’s claim of 200 free units included in its increased monthly rental was misleading.

The Appeal Cour