Mauritians making international calls to their nearest and dearest can look forward to the forthcoming price war on rates. For the popular countries like France and the UK the cost of calling will be around Rs.6.35 using an Easicall prepay card from Data Communications Ltd. This compares with Mauritius Telecom’s Rs 11.50 with its Passepartout card and Rs8.50 with Pageing Services’ World Card. Competition is raging after several days of effectively liberalised service.

One week after the first competitor with Mauritius Telecom, Paging Services, its other competitor DCL launched its services. For countries less well used like China, Russia, Singapore or Canada, the user will pay only Rs5.75. Easicall pre-paid cards from DCL are available at 300 outlets across the island including supermarkets, shops and petrol stations.

They are being sold in the following units: Rs 50, Rs 125, Rs 250, Rs 1 000 and Rs 2 000. There is a promotional tariff that will be available until the end of this month. Mauritius Telecom is also running its promotional tariff but only until 18 January.

The two new competitors are still unhappy with the interconnection charges they pay to Mauritius Telecom. They estimate that they are paying Rs1-1.50 a minute to the incumbent. If this interconnect charge was lower, they say they could offer even lower call rates. But even with current rates they reckon that the current volume of 60 million minutes will double.