Watchdog wants termination charges cut by 2008

7 Dec 2006

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT) has announced its latest round of price cuts for mobile termination charges. The new rules require all mobile operators with significant market power (SMP) to be charging the same fees by the end of 2008, before lowering charges to the cost-based level of NOK0.45 (USD0.07) by July 2010.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, the NPT designated a number of operators as having SMP during 2005, under guidelines imposed by the EU. In September 2005 it categorised network operators Telenor, NetCom (a subsidiary of Sweden’s TeliaSonera) and Teletopia, as well as MVNO Tele2 Norge, as providers with SMP in the market for termination of voice services in their respective mobile networks. All are therefore subject to individual regulation. Telenor and NetCom were subjected to a maximum price adjustment that reduced their termination prices by NOK0.08 and NOK0.18 per minute respectively. This lowered maximum prices to NOK0.65 per minute for Telenor and NOK0.91 per minute for NetCom, calculated as a weighted average of the call start tariff and the price per minute. Both operators appealed against the decision but the Ministry of Transport and Communications ruled in the NPT’s favour in April 2006. The NPT does not apply price caps to resellers who charge indirect termination fees — a fact that Telenor has repeatedly bemoaned.