Belgium’s telecoms regulator, the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT), has announced that mobile termination rates (MTRs) will be nearly halved from 1 August 2010, in line with proposals it made earlier this year. Having given operators an opportunity to respond to the proposals, which it made in February 2010, the BIPT will push forward with the implementation of the new rate limits, and alongside the almost 50% reduction that will take place next month, MTRs will also see a further progressive reduction down to a single rate for all mobile operators of EUR0.0108 (USD1.32) a minute by 1 January 2013.
In the initial rounds of cuts Proximus, Belgium’s largest cellco by subscribers, must bring down its termination rate from EUR0.0720 to EUR0.0452 per minute, while Mobistar will see a reduction from EUR0.0902 to EUR0.0494 per minute. BASE meanwhile, which according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database overtook Mobistar at the end of March 2010 as the second largest mobile operator, will see the largest reduction, from EUR0.1143 to EUR0.0568 per minute.
Commenting on the development, Luke Hindryckx, chairman of the BIPT, said: ‘This decision is the culmination of a process that makes the BIPT one of the first regulators in Europe to finalise its market analysis on mobile termination rates … We are fully confident that it will help boost the Belgian telecommunications market by complying with the three objectives set by the regulatory framework, namely protecting the interests of citizens (with the expected decline in retail prices), promoting competition (by stimulating competition between fixed and mobile operators to offer converged products) and contribute to the development of a market (by application of regulatory measures that take into account the possible European recommendations).’