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Beijing Unicom to Slash Mobile Phone Call Charges
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Beijing Unicom, one of the national capital's largest telecommunication operators, announced on Wednesday that it would cut its mobile phone charges dramatically.

The prices of major products will be reduced by over 60 percent and the cuts will take effect on Thursday.

An one-sided charge system will be employed for one of the company's label products "Ruyitong", which is run via the CDMA network.

Users of this product will not have to pay when they receive phone calls and will not have to pay a monthly fee for the service, according to Beijing Unicom.

The charge of Ruyitong's local calls will decrease from 0.54 yuan to 0.2 yuan (US$6.7 cents to 2.5 cents) per minute while the charge for long distance calls will be cut from 1.24 yuan to 0.3 yuan (US$15.5 cents to 3.8 cents) percent per minute.

At the same time the company will also provide another cost-cutting service, in which users will only pay eight yuan (US$ 1) to receive 500 minutes of phones calls.

Beijing Unicom said this sort of service is available to the majority of its users.

From 2002 to 2004, Beijing Unicom invested heavily to build a CDMA and a GSM mobile network, and currently it has nearly seven million users.

The company's major rival Beijing Mobile announced a huge call charge cut on May 9.

Apart from the two companies, some other telecom operators in Beijing, including Beijing Netcom, have offered or will offer new services.

(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2006)

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