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 Thursday, April 12, 2007

Analysis that aims to narrow the difference between fixed and mobile call termination charges will have to go deeper, say delegates to the recent Study Group 3 meeting. Following a more in-depth analysis of the results of two questionnaires issued by SG 3 and answers to some new questions posed to operators worldwide they should be able identify charges that are too high, and negotiate better rates that will in the long term benefit customers and operators alike.


Initial analysis shows that while call termination charges are significantly higher for mobile than for fixed line telephony, they are dropping. There seems to have been a particularly marked decrease in Europe where at the time of the first questionnaire, reflecting the situation 1 January 2006, charges were as much as ten times higher for mobile termination. The second questionnaire, reflecting the situation 1 January 2007, showed charges reduced to three times higher than fixed. However since the respondent groups to the two surveys were not exactly the same the results have not been formally adopted by the Study Group.

In order to get a better picture, it will be necessary, say experts, to understand more on the conditions of the service being offered, for example teledensity (thatís the number of telephones per 100 individuals), the type of technology used and whether or not the market is fully competitive. For this reason a third questionnaire will be issued covering the same period as the second.

Termination charges occur when calls are terminated in a network other than that from which they have originated. The goal of the analysis is to develop target rates that can give guidelines to operators. Given target rates it will be easier in areas where there is a big difference between fixed and mobile termination charges to negotiate better rates.

A similar exercise was undertaken for fixed line termination charges in the nineties and resulted in reduced charges.