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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • IDC Cuts International Calling Rates; Competition Intensifies
  • December 9, 1998 (TOKYO) -- International Digital Communications Inc. said it will reduce its overseas telephone calling rates starting on Dec. 15.
    This latest rate cut follows a similar move made by DDI Corp., and the Dec. 1 cuts made by Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. DDI entered the overseas telephone service market in October this year. The remaining service competitor, KDD Co., Ltd., announced already that it will cut its rates by the end of December.

    The cuts announced by IDC this time are applied to calls between Japan and 23 countries and regions, including the United States, Britain, Korea, China and Brazil. The average of the rate cuts is 9 percent, while the largest cut is 47.1 percent.

    After the rate changes, IDC's rates will be about the same as those offered by Japan Telecom. For example, a call to the United States will be 240 yen (US$2) for 3 minutes during the day time, 210 yen (US$1.75) for night time and 180 yen (US$1.5) for late night and early morning hours. DDI's rate card is not computed in the same fashion. However, it charges the same amount for a 3-minute call to the United States.

    If a caller takes advantage of the "IDC Family Plus" discount service, the rates are even lower. However, except for the late night and early morning hours, the company's discount rate is lower than Japan Telecom's discount service.

    In comparison with DDI, which does not have a discount service, DDI offers slightly lower rates for the day time and night time, except for calls to the United States.

    According to the mid-term settlement of accounts for fiscal year 1998 announced earlier, DDI, Japan Telecom, KDD and IDC all suffered a decrease in profits in the two-digit percentage points. Under such a severe business environment, accelerating competition for lower calling rates is likely to pinch the players.

    Related story: Japan Telecom to Slash Phone Call Prices to U.S.

    (Nikkei Communications)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 8 12:58:56 1998 PDT