8 May 2009

Bulgaria still with highest mobile termination rates


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Mobile-Phone-Mastphoto © 2010 Micky Aldridge | more info (via: Wylio)

The European Commission has set out clear guidance for EU telecoms regulators on the cost-based method to be used when calculating termination rates – the wholesale fees charged by operators to connect the call from another operator’s network which are part of everyone’s phone bill. The guidance is in the form of a soft law

Recommendation

that national regulators are obliged to take “the utmost account” of.

The Recommendation indicates specifically that termination rates at national level should be based only on the real costs that an efficient operator incurs to establish the connection. Eliminating price distortions between phone operators across the EU will lower consumer prices for voice calls within and between Member States, saving business and household customers at least

EUR 2 billion in 2009-2012

and help investment and innovation in the entire telecoms sector.

Mobile termination rates varied widely in the EU in 2008 from 2.00 euro cents per minute (in Cyprus) to 15 euro cents per minute (in Bulgaria). Mobile termination rates (on average 8.55 euro cents per minute) are also typically 10 times higher than fixed termination rates (on average ranging from 0.57 to 1.13 euro cents per minute).

29 January 2009

Good news for bulgarian mobile network subscribers


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The European Commission (EC) has submitted a letter to the Bulgarian telecoms regulator, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) ordering it to to take action to further reduce mobile termination rate.
“Termination rates” are what mobile operators charge each other and are due when a call originated by a subscriber within the network of one operator is to be connected to a subscriber of another operator’s network.

Not surprisingly, with 15.09 eurocent/minute mobile termination rates in Bulgaria were the highest in the EU in 2008 (EU average: 8.7 eurocent/minute).
The EC also asks CRC not to discriminate when setting the level of termination rates between fixed and mobile networks and to apply similar termination rates for mobile calls originating from other mobile and fixed networks.

In its draft measure, the CRC set a target to achieve mobile termination rates at a level of 7.6 eurocents/minute (for peak traffic) in 2010. However, according to the European Regulators Group, which brings together the EU’s 27 national telecoms regulators, this level is already undercut by many Member States such as Cyprus (2.01 eurocents/minute), Sweden (4.55 eurocents), Finland (5.29 eurocents), Austria (6 eurocents), Slovenia (6.38 eurocents), Romania (6.78 eurocents) and France (6.85 eurocents) as of today.

So, thank you EU, for this expected decrease of rates which, I beleive, would never have come by virtue of the national regulator being actually in charge to further competition and subscriber protection.