The Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT), the country’s telecoms regulator, has revealed that it wants to see mobile network operators halve mobile termination rates (MTRs) with a view to increasing competition in the wireless sector and reducing the cost of calls to consumers. According to Reuters, the watchdog has recommended a 50% cut in MTRs, far steeper than the 20% reduction that had been expected by the Belgian cellcos, and it is now widely expected that all three – Proximus (Belgacom Mobile), Mobistar and BASE – will appeal the decision.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the BIPT proposed the regulation of mobile interconnection rates in March 2006, and while the charges have been cut by around 50% since that date, the levels remain different for each of the three operators. By 2013 however the disparities are due to have been phased out, while MTRs must be no more than EUR0.017 (USD0.0149) per minute at that date.
Operators now have six weeks to respond to the regulator’s proposals.