Telecoms experts are starting to suspect that the cost of long-distance calls to mobile phone users won?t fall significantly even though Anatel has predicted discounts of as much as 50% thanks to the introduction of carrier selection codes for wireless LD calls.
The main barrier is the interconnect rates landline carriers have to pay wireless companies, ranging from 0.26 to 0.31 Brazilian Reals per minute (now about 9-10 US cents). Interconnect rates account for a substantial proportion of wireless companies? revenue, especially in the prepaid segment. More than 70% of Brazil?s mobile phone users are prepaid.
Wireless companies have always offered discounts on LD calls, which they subsidized by not covering the full cost of interconnection. Now there?s no reason to do so.