US-based company VarTec Telecom is set to introduce a new discounted call option for Irish consumers.
Following two and a half years of negotiations with the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR) — now Com Reg — the company is now offering Irish consumers the option to place their telephone calls via the company’s 13636 service.
The privately-owned company claims this could save customers up to 67pc on national calls and 76pc on international calls as well as saving on local calls and calls to Irish mobile phones.
VarTec Telecom has been able to enter the Irish market because of the deregulation in recent years of the telephone service throughout Europe. Following the launch of its UK service in 1999, the company turned its attention across the Irish Sea.
“We have faced many challenges in bringing this service to Ireland,” said Michael Tarte-Booth, managing director of Vartec Telecom Europe Ltd. “We should have been able to offer this service two years ago, but encountered a series of negotiations with Eircom and the regulator. We have overcome these.”
To use the service customers dial 13636 followed by the area code (even when calling locally) and then use the telephone number they wish to call.
Customers will receive a regular itemised bill from VarTec Telecom for any calls made using the service, while line rental charges and calls made using Eircom will appear on their usual Eircom bill.
The company offers a flat 3 cent per minute rate on local and national calls with a minimum charge of 15 cent per completed call. Eircom’s minimum call charged is .0634 cent.
By Suzanne Byrne