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 Monday, June 16, 2014

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans to reduce mobile termination rates (MTRs) further, despite saying that the rate had fallen ‘significantly’ in recent years on the back of its previous intervention. With the rate currently standing at GBP0.0815 (USD0.017) per minute as of 1 April 2014, under the watchdog’s latest proposals it has set out reductions for each of the next three years. As such, from 1 April 2015 Ofcom has said that the MTR will be reduced to GBP0.0515 per minute, before falling to GBP0.0498 per minute and GBP0.0476 per minute at 1 April 2016 and 1 April 2017, respectively. The new rates will apply to all operators.

Having concluded its previous review of MTRs on 15 March 2011, Ofcom has said that in reaching its latest decision there were a number of relevant factors that it had considered. Among those was the fact that between 2011 and 2013 the availability of spectrum to provide mobile services had increased significantly following the regulator’s work on spectrum liberalisation and the 4G auction. Further, it has argued that mobile networks and technologies are also becoming more efficient, leading to lower costs, and has claimed that the new charge controls are designed to ensure that the charges levied by operators reflect these lower costs.

Brian Potterill, Ofcom’s Competition Policy Director, said of the plans: ‘Consumers in the UK benefit from a thriving competitive market, and mobile calls have never been cheaper. The average cost of a call bundle has fallen from GBP40 to around GBP13 in real terms over the last ten years … We want to ensure mobile users continue to benefit from competition, which will deliver affordable services in the years ahead.’

Ofcom’s consultation on the proposals closes on 13 August 2014, and the regulator has said it expects to publish its final decision by March next year.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, June 16, 2014 7:43:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 31, 2014

South African telecoms watchdog ICASA’s decision to introduce aggressive asymmetry in wholesale call termination rates has provoked a backlash from market leader Vodacom, which quickly voiced its dissatisfaction with the move, local news agency TechCentral reports. Vodacom said in a statement: ‘We feel that the level of asymmetry is unjustified and that there is no clear basis for the differential. This asymmetry is clearly a subsidy for the smaller operators.’ The network operator added: ‘We believe that the outcome today has been reached without following due process. A cost-based study, which is a prerequisite before reaching this type of decision, has not been conducted and shared with us.’ Although Vodacom stated that it is ‘supportive’ of lower termination rates, the cellco urged ICASA to take into account the adverse effect on customers, partners and suppliers. Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said: ‘I wish I could say this is a victory for the consumer, but it is far from it. This is a subsidy which in effect means that Vodacom will be charged more to call Cell C and Telkom Mobile than the latter will be charged to call Vodacom. This prejudices Vodacom’s customers, and rewards those who have not invested in their networks at the expense of those who have.’ Further, the executive revealed that the company is currently in the process of ‘considering its options’ in order to protect its customers and ensure that ‘South Africa gets the network investment that it needs’.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this week ICASA announced its decision to introduce aggressive asymmetry in wholesale call termination rates, effective 1 March 2014. The new rules favour smaller network operators Cell C and Telkom Mobile, with Robert Pasley, Cell C’s chief financial officer, saying: ‘As far as I am concerned, the draft regulations gave us a reasonable shot at becoming a sustainable competitor. This only increases our chances of being successful’. Pasley also stated that market leaders Vodacom and MTN South Africa would not succeed in challenging the final decision in court, ‘because the underlying costs of termination are broadly in line with where ICASA is going. There are many pro-competitive and pro-public interest reasons that ICASA has come out with this regulation.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, January 31, 2014 3:57:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 15, 2013

On 10 June 2013 Sweden’s Post and Telecom Agency (PTA) issued two final significant market power (SMP) decisions in telecoms markets ‘6’ (wholesale leased lines) and ‘7’ (wholesale mobile voice call termination). In the mobile termination segment the regulator issued individual SMP obligations for the provision of wholesale services to nine companies: TeliaSonera, Tele2, Telenor Sweden, Hi3G Access Sweden (3), Net 1, Mundio, TDC, Lycamobile and Gotalandsnatet; prices offered by these companies are subject to ex ante regulation.

PTS also decided that TeliaSonera alone remains under obligation to offer wholesale leased lines, at non-discriminative prices (subject to ex ante regulation) after identifying TeliaSonera as a company with SMP in market 6.

Source: TeleGeography.

Monday, July 15, 2013 8:00:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 20, 2012

French watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has announced a new maximum termination rate for voice calls in French overseas territories. The rate, which is effective from 1 January 2013, has been set at EUR0.01 (USD0.01) per minute and applies to operators in the Antilles-Guyane region (incorporating Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana) as well as Reunion and Mayotte.

Source: TeleGeography.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:44:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has reduced the amount of money mobile companies pay each other for calls that terminate in a rival’s network.

The charge — referred to as Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) — was slashed from the current Sh2.21 to Sh1.44, and charges backdated to July 1 this year, effectively ending a war in the mobile industry pitting Airtel and yu who wanted the charges lowered against Safaricom and Telkom Kenya, which wanted the charges to remain as is.

The interconnection fees was set at Sh2.21 after it was slashed in July 2010 from Sh4.42. The rates were set to come further down in July last year to Shl.44, and follow a glide path that would have seen them settle at less than a shilling by July next year. But President Kibaki halted progress through a directive in June last year following intense lobbying from Safaricom and Telkom Kenya.

“Considering that the Commission suspended the glide path in order to evaluate these issues as presented by the industry, the CCK board has, in its sitting today, resolved to re-instate the glide path and implement the second phase of the mobile and fixed termination rates with effect from July 1,” stated the CCK in a statement to the media.

Source: Standard Digital.

Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:00:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 14, 2012

Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), has published its proposal for new mobile termination rates charged by the country’s four mobile network operators. From 1 December 2012 the watchdog suggests that the rate fall to a uniform EUR0.0185 (USD0.024) per minute from the previous fees of EUR0.0336 for Royal KPN’s local unit E-Plus and UK-based Vodafone Germany, EUR0.0338 for Telekom Deutschland (the domestic fixed and mobile arm of Deutsche Telekom) and EUR0.0339 for Spain’s Telefonica (O2). In a second step, mobile termination rates will drop further, to EUR0.0179 per minute, on 1 December 2013. The announced rate cuts are provisional and subject to a national consultation procedure, and subsequent feedback from the European Commission and regulators in other European Union member states.

Responding to the proposed rate cuts, Reuters cited a Deutsche Telekom spokesperson as saying that the decision would cost the German telecom operators about EUR500 million annually, adding that the cuts didn’t bode well for future investments in fast internet. ‘With this decision the Bundesnetzagentur follows the complete erroneous European policy of the past ten years, which has cost the European telecom sector its global leading role,’ the spokesperson said. Vodafone meanwhile said the decision will drag money away from much needed investment in faster networks.

Source: TeleGeography.

Friday, December 14, 2012 10:44:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 29, 2012

National watchdog the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) is proposing to cut mobile termination rates (MTRs) in the country, Telecompaper reports without citing its sources. Under the plan, MTRs will come down from CZK0.55 (USD0.0285) per minute, to CZK0.27, while the rate for fixed calls will drop to between CZK0.04-CZK0.08 per minute, from CZK0.15-CZK0.34. The new prices, which are based on a long-run incremental cost (LRIC) model, are expected to take effect from 1 January 2013. The CTU will hold a consultation on the plan and hopes to issue a final decision by the end of this year.

Source: Telegeography.

Monday, October 29, 2012 4:55:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sweden’s National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has launched a secondary consultation on its third generation of competitive decisions for ex-ante regulation of four telecoms sub-markets applying to mobile and fixed call interconnection and fixed telephony access. The regulatory determinations on the sub-markets for fixed access, fixed call origination, fixed call termination and mobile call termination will be aimed at ensuring that end-users can ‘continue to select fixed line rental from multiple operators and be able to call each other no matter which operator you have subscribed to,’ the watchdog stated. Market participants have until 31 August 2012 to comment on the PTS’ proposed market determinations/remedies, and the regulator expects to enter into consultations with the European Commission and other European regulatory authorities by early November. The final decisions are expected to be taken at the beginning of 2013.

As part of its current phase of market analysis, earlier this month the PTS released its proposed mobile termination rate (MTR) of SEK0.15 (USD0.021) per minute, representing a decrease from the current SEK0.21 MTR, with the new rate set to be applicable from 1 July 2012 (applicable retroactively). The figure resulted from using an updated calculation method based on the so-called hybrid model used to determine cost-oriented rates in mobile networks.

Source: Telegeography

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1:30:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 13, 2012

Spanish regulator CMT has launched public consultations on mobile termination rates in the Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo networks. CMT proposes a 73 percent reduction of mobile termination fees for the three main mobile operators Movistar, Vodafone Spain and Orange Spain, from the current 4 eurocents per minute to 1.09 eurocents per minute. CMT also plans to cut MTRs in the Yoigo ne­twork by 80 percent, from the current 4.98 eurocents to 1.09 eurocents per minute. The regulator proposes a two-year glide path for mobile termination rates, with cuts every six months starting in April 2012 until October 2014.

Source: Telecom Paper.

Friday, January 13, 2012 1:13:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2011

Colombia’s telecoms watchdog the Communication Regulation Commission (CRC) has approved new measures that will improve competition in the wireless market. The provisions focus on regulating more closely the relationships between telcos. No mobile network operator will be allowed to block a device, meaning that customers can connect through any network. In addition the CRC will decrease interconnection rates for calls between operators from the current rate of COP98 (USD0.05) per minute to COP42 per minute by 2015, and investigate the possibility of reducing SMS interconnection rates from COP59 to a single figure by the same date.

Going forward, by April 2012 the watchdog plans to have completed work on a website that will allow customers to view and compare the rates offered by different providers.

Colombia’s wireless market consists of three players, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Comunicacion Celular is the dominant provider with 67.8% share of the mobile market, whilst Mexico’s Telefonica Moviles Colombia (Movistar) and Luxembourg’s Colombia Movil (Tigo) represent 22.0% and 10.2% of the sector respectively.

Source: TeleGeography

Friday, October 07, 2011 1:10:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mexican regulator Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) has reduced the interconnection rate charged by Telmex to rival operators to MXN 3.951 from MXN 11.55. Cofetel has also changed the legal nature of long distance service that Telmex provides to other competitors in rural areas with no investment from other fixed telephony competitors.

Cofetel has also cut the interconnection rate for this service by 94 percent to 4.53 peso cents per minute, from 75 peso cents. America Movil believes that such decisions are "arbitrary", "clearly unexplainable and deprive [its subsidiary Telmex] of its corresponding rights and assets. Telmex plans to carry out all the relevant legal defense actions. Additionally, related to the fixed-mobile interconnection rates that have been reduced, Telmex will apply the interconnection rates as established by Cofetel, until the legal proceedings of mobile service companies are not definitely resolved.

Source: TelecomPaper

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 1:15:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Moroccan telecommunications regulator ANRT has set a 65 percent reduction target for voice termination interconnection tariffs for fixed and mobile calls between 2010-2013 for Maroc Telecom (IAM) and Medi Telecom, and by 70 percent for Wana Corporate. The regulator's management committee has also set the end of asymmetric interconnection tariffs for 2013. The average target reduction for fixed termination by that year is between 24 and 40 percent. The measure is intended to stimulate competition on the fixed and mobile markets in the interest of end users. During the second half of 2011, the body will evaluate the impact of regulated tariffs in place on market dynamics and will readjust them if necessary.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:27:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Israeli government has proposed a reduction in mobile interconnection fees. The ministry of communications issued a 30-day notice to operators to respond to the proposal. The fees are expected to drop from the current ILS 0.251 per minute to ILS 0.0414 from 1 August 2010, to ILS 0.0354 from 1 January 2011, to ILS 0.0311 from 1 January 2012, to ILS 0.0280 from 1 January 2013 and to ILS 0.0257 from January 2014. The ministry also wants a cut in SMS termination rates, from ILS 0.0285 currently to ILS 0.0019 in August and down to ILS 0.0013 by 2014.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:43:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Telecommunications Management Group, Inc, (TMG) announces an update to its highly acclaimed A Primer on Mobile Termination Rates. The new report, Mobile Termination Rate Update 2010, features mobile  termination rates for 140 economies worldwide. The mobile termination rate (MTR) is the wholesale price that mobile operators charge for terminating calls on their networks. This, in turn, can impact the retail price that consumers pay for their mobile phone service.

The new report finds that MTRs have declined 34% since 2005, with the average global MTR standing at 8.4 U.S. cents in 2009. TMG believes that MTRs will continue to drop due to ongoing regulatory intervention to align interconnection rates with costs, with the world average reaching around 4 U.S. cents in four years (2013). There is great diversity in MTRs between and within regions around the world. The Latin America/Caribbean and European regions have the highest average MTRs at more than 10 U.S. cents per minute. By contrast, the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa regions have the lowest MTRs with an average of around 5 U.S. cents.

 

The report finds a close link between the MTRs and mobile phone usage. The highest level of usage is found in countries without calling party pays (e.g., where the party receiving the call rather than the calling party pays for call termination and where MTRs are not used) or where MTRs are very low.

The report facilitates wholesale mobile interconnection rate benchmarking between countries by including MTRs in both U.S. dollars and purchasing power parity prices (which adjusts for differences in the level of income between nations). The report also identifies which countries do not use MTRs and includes key mobile market metrics for 40 major economies.

 

Source: Telecommunications Management Group, Inc.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:17:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 12, 2010

­Bahrain's telecoms regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has decided that it is time to start regulating the mobile termination rates of both the country's mobile networks. Although Batelco's rates are currently regulated, the rates applied by rival operator, Zain had been untouched.

The TRA said that it considers that it is now time to address this differential treatment between Batelco and Zain, given the significant growth of Zain since its entry 6 years ago, and at a time when the third mobile operator is expected to launch soon. This will provide additional certainty to existing licensed operators as well as the third mobile operator with regards to mobile termination rates.Dr. Mohammed Al Amer TRA's Chairman and Acting General Director said "This determination is not only important to operators who terminate communications on the mobile networks but also to consumers of one network trying to communicate with consumers on other mobile networks. In fact, termination rates are ultimately recovered through retail prices charged to consumers. Regulating termination rates are consistent with TRA's mission to protect the interest of consumers and to promote competition."

Dr. Mohammed went on to say "Regulators have the duty to step in when the normal operation of market forces is deficient. Termination on mobile networks is one such example of market failure. Termination constitutes a bottleneck on which there is structurally limited room for competitive pressures. If left unregulated, mobile termination rates would be set above the competitive level which will be detrimental to consumers. The Determination launched recently will pave the way for equal treatment between Batelco and Zain, and provides clear direction for the third mobile operator."

The Determination on Mobile Termination can be viewed on TRA's website www.tra.org.bh

Source: Cellular News

Friday, March 12, 2010 10:52:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 02, 2010
South African fixed-line operator Telkom has pledged to pass on to customers 100 percent of the proposed cut in mobile termination rates from 1 March. This will see Telkom dropping its peak rate for fixed-to-mobile calls by ZAR 0.36 or 22 percent to ZAR 1.475 per minute. Telkom has filed its new fixed-to-mobile retail rates with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. Telkom noted however that it's still awaiting notification from Cell C on finalisation of an amendment to the Cell C interconnection agreement.
 
Source: TelecomPaper
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 1:50:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 07, 2009

The Honduran telecoms regulator Conatel will reportedly publish its decision on establishing new asymmetric interconnection rates between incumbent operator Hondutel and private fixed line and mobile operators this Friday. However, Hondutel is thought to be unhappy at the plan having argued long and hard for the implementation of symmetrical interconnection rates. Jorge Aguilar, the managing director of Hondutel, is quoted as saying that his firm has made every effort to convince Conatel that it would be unfair to impose asymmetric rates on the telco.

Hondutel’s problem is that under the watchdog’s plan, it would be required to pay six cents to mobile operators for terminating calls, whereas they would only be required to pay three cents to use the fixed PSTN. Aguilar argues that ‘this can not continue like this, that's an injustice and we believe the interconnection charges should be symmetric’.

Source: Telegeography

Monday, December 07, 2009 4:35:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 03, 2009

British broadsheet The Guardian is reporting that fixed line incumbent BT and cellco Hutchison 3G UK (3) have launched a joint venture to press for a reduction in mobile termination rates (MTRs). The campaign, which is being marketed under the ‘Terminate the Rate’ banner, has already won the backing of the National Union of Students, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and trade union GMB. The two operators claim that MTRs account for approximately GBP0.047 (USD0.074) of every call to a mobile voice line, and are calling for the rates to be reduced so that this drops to around GBP0.01 per call.

The inauguration of the campaign comes as regulator Ofcom begins a public consultation on charges between operators. Having set in place a programme in 2007 to reduce MTRs by around 25% by 2011, the latest review will examine the rates applicable between 2011 and 2015. Ofcom has set out six regulatory options, ranging from retaining the current system to more ‘radical alternatives’, including the complete removal of termination regulation from mobile operators. The regulator claims lower rates could allow operators to launch new, more competitive packages, and Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, noted: 'The mobile market has developed significantly with consumers increasingly using innovative services like mobile broadband. Our review will reflect these changes to ensure that future termination rates are in the best interests of consumers.’

Source: TeleGeography.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:20:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |