Rostelecom (NYSE: ROS; RTS and MICEX: RTKM, RTKMp), Russia's national long-distance telecommunications operator, today announced a number of changes to its international long-distance (ILD) tariffs for subscribers across Russia (1) that will become effective as of April 1, 2004. Also on that date, the Company will begin offering ILD services to Russian subscribers calling the Comoro Islands, as well as resume ILD services to Russian subscribers calling Afghanistan.
Rostelecom's Commercial Director Gioulnara Khasianova commented, «these initiatives have been made possible due to our cooperation with international operators, particularly on the optimization of international settlement rates. As a result of these relationships, Rostelecom is able to introduce a flexible tariff policy for subscribers across Russia, which will enhance the competitiveness of the services offered by Rostelecom and regional operators. The new tariffs are in line with the market and take into account the Company's costs associated with traffic termination outside of Russia. Additionally we have been able to eliminate the disparity between tariffs for residential subscribers and corporate clients as well as between working and non-working days. Consequently, we expect to see growth both in traffic and revenue.»
The new tariff policy implies the following changes:
- Decreasing ILD tariffs for residential and corporate clients on calls to the most popular destinations — on working days tariffs on calls to fixed-line numbers in Europe will be reduced.
- Decreasing ILD tariffs for corporate clients to almost all international destinations on working days.
- Bringing ILD tariffs during holidays and weekends in line with the market and moving from three tariff intervals (working hours, non-working hours and holidays/weekends) to two intervals (peak hours (2) and off-peak hours (3)).
- Bringing tariffs on calls to Belarus in line with the cost of traffic termination.
Additionally, Rostelecom is introducing different ILD tariffs for calls to fixed-line and mobile numbers. Charges for calls to mobile numbers will be more expensive, which is a worldwide used practice as termination rates charged by mobile companies are normally higher than those charged by fixed-line operators.
Finally, as of April 1, 2004 Rostelecom will open a new international destination — Comoro Islands (code 269) — and resume offering ILD services to subscribers calling Afghanistan (code 93).
(1) These changes do not apply to calls from Moscow where Rostelecom has already rebalanced its ILD tariffs
(2) From 8 am until 8 pm on working days
(3) From 8 pm until 8 am on working days as well as during weekends and holidays
Certain statements in this press-release are «forward-looking statements» within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby.
These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.
These risks include the risk of changes the Company's operations and business prospects, the general financial and economic circumstances, relating to regulation of the Russian telecommunications industry and the Russian legislation; the competition and other risks.
For a more detailed discussion of these and other factors, see the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for its most recently completed fiscal year and the Company's other public filings with The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. Given these and other uncertainties, the Company cautions not to place undue reliance on any of the forward-looking statements contained herein or otherwise.
The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as maybe required under applicable the U.S. federal securities laws.