The European Commission (EC) has called upon Czech telecoms regulator the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTU) to strengthen regulatory control on mobile termination rates (MTRs). For the second time the Commission has asked the CTU to further reduce MTRs, after the Czech regulator ignored a previous call at the end of last year. The EC is calling for a new glide path aimed at ‘approximating efficient costs’ as it looks to provide for a smoother transition to the approach set out in the Commission’s Recommendation on Termination Rates (IP/09/710 ), which asks all EU member states to set MTRs at the level of the cost of an efficient operator by 31 December 2012. The Commission also regrets that less stringent obligations have been imposed on the smallest operator, MobilKom (U:fon), which it fears may lead to market failures or disputes between operators if MobilKom decides to raise its own MTRs or to not terminate calls from other operators’ networks.
EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding is quoted as saying: ‘The average mobile termination rate in the Czech Republic is the second highest in the EU. Whilst welcoming CTU’s efforts to take certain aspects of our Recommendation into account already in its current measure, I am very disappointed that the Czech regulator proposes to maintain the level of mobile termination rates imposed on the larger operators previously … Only further substantial reductions can ensure that consumers in the Czech Republic benefit from lower prices for mobile calls. I also urge CTU to impose stricter obligations on the smallest operator to treat all mobile companies alike. I hope that the Czech telecoms regulator will duly consider our advice and regulate mobile termination markets accordingly.’