Belgian mobile network operators Mobistar and KPN Group Belgium (BASE) have lost an appeal against the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunication’s (BIPT’s) proposed cuts in mobile termination rates (MTRs). According to the watchdog the Brussels Court of Appeal dismissed the petitions lodged by both operators, which called for the suspension of a June 2010 decision by the BIPT to reduce interconnection rates.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the BIPT in July 2010 announced that MTRs would be nearly halved from 1 August 2010, in line with proposals it had made earlier that year. Having given operators an opportunity to respond to the proposals, which it made in February 2010, the BIPT said it would push forward with the implementation of the new rate limits, and alongside the initial almost 50% reduction, 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, was ordered to bring down its termination rate from EUR0.0720 to EUR0.0452 per minute, while Mobistar was required to drop its charge from EUR0.0902 to EUR0.0494 per minute. BASE meanwhile was told to make the largest reduction, from EUR0.1143 to EUR0.0568 per minute.