Ofcom and UK government question EU's mobile termination rate plan

23 Sep 2008

According to Reuters, British regulator Ofcom has issued a joint statement with the government arguing against plans by the European Commission (EC) to cut mobile termination rates. Ofcom and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DERR) claim that the proposals fail to take into account the potential impact on customers and are being introduced too soon; the EC published guidelines in June 2008, recommending that mobile termination rates be cut by 70%, with the cuts being phased in by 2011. The UK bodies have suggested that under the current circumstances the EC could face legal challenges to its proposals, with a statement noting, ‘The fact that the Commission has recommended a particular approach does not of itself provide sufficient justification for adopting it, especially in the absence of adequate supporting analysis of rationale and impact. Unless these deficiencies are addressed, any account taken of the recommendation could be vulnerable to legal challenge, not least because of the departures from previously established best practice.’ Ofcom also reiterated that it had set mobile termination rates until 2011, and suggested that any cuts should come after this date in a gradual manner.

United Kingdom, Ofcom