BANGKOK: The Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) wants to cut its maximum rate for long-distance calls by a third, and to offer subscribers a choice of two payment options. Subscribers currently pay 100 baht a month for the line, 3 baht for each local call (no matter how long), and between 3 and 18 baht a minute for long-distance calls. The TOT wants to cut the maximum rate for long-distance calls to 12 baht a minute. Although the cut is a major one, the new maximum would still be four times the 3 baht a minute charged by mobile phone companies for calls anywhere in Thailand. In addition, the TOT is proposing a choice between two payment packages, as follows: · Fixed fee of 120 baht a month, 3 baht per call for local calls. · Fixed fee of 90 baht a month, 1 baht a minute for local calls. Meechai Veerawaidya, chairman of the TOT, said the proposal will be handed to the Minister of Communications for discussion by the Cabinet, probably before the end of August. Meanwhile, the TOT and Infotel Communications (Thailand) have launched an information service called Audiotex. It will allow subscribers to get information on entertainment, cooking, sports and health. Subscribers can access Audiotex by calling 1900-9990-34. Charges for the service vary between 3 baht a call and 9 baht a minute. The service is currently in Thai only, but Infotel plans to add an English-language line within a couple of months, providing tourist information.
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