MoTC directs NPT to reconsider MTRs rate ruling

5 Dec 2011

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT)has said it will consider a request made by Network Norway and Tele2 Norge, in which the duo called on the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MoTC) to reverse its previous ruling on appeal related to mobile termination rates (MTRs). As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, September 2010 saw the NPT adopt a resolution under which both the country’s mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) would be required to further reduce MTRs, with the regulator calling for symmetric rates of NOK0.15 (USD0.03) to be in place by the start of 2013.

While the legislation was appealed by NetCom, Network Norway, TDC, Tele2 and Telenor, the MoTC ratified the core content of the NPT’s proposals after consideration on 11 May 2011, including the maximum NOK0.15 MTR for all providers by 1 January 2013; the regulator did, however, make some changes to the glide paths set out for both Network Norway and Tele2.

The latest development comes after Network Norway and Tele2 in a letter dated 19 September 2011 called on the MoTC to reverse its previous decision, claiming that they needed more time before asymmetric MTRs were removed. The duo, which have jointly been rolling out Norway’s third GSM network, argue that the latest request for longer asymmetric rates was justified on the basis of changes to the development plan for that network. Under initial rollout plans by the two operators the in-deployment GSM network was expected to cover around 75% of Norwegians, but under revised plans it is now expected to reach approximately 98% of the population. Tele2 and Network Norway have pointed out that the MoTC’s decisions regarding NPT were based on previous assumptions regarding coverage at the initial 75% level.

The NPT has said it will examine the matter further, and has invited comments from interested parties with a deadline of 4 January 2012. The MoTC meanwhile has given the NPT until 1 July 2012 to undertake its assessment of the matter and make any further decisions complete with justifications.