Spain’s telecoms regulator, the Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicacinoes (CMT), has announced that it has revised its previously announced timetable for the reduction of mobile termination rates (MTRs) between 2012 and 2014. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in December last year the watchdog launched a public consultation regarding the revision of MTRs for all four mobile network operators: Telefonica Moviles Espana (TME), Vodafone Spain, Orange Espana and Xfera Moviles (Yoigo). Originally it had laid out a two-year glide path for the reduction in fees, recommending that for TME, Vodafone and Orange the fees be reduced to EUR0.0352 (USD0.047) per minute from 1 April 2012, down from the trio’s current rate of EUR0.0498 per minute, before falling further in stages until it reached EUR0.0109 by end-2014. Yoigo, meanwhile, would face larger initial cuts as the CMT seeks to end asymmetric prices, with rate symmetry between all four cellcos under the original plan expected from 1 May 2013.
As per the regulator’s revised plans, however, it has revealed that it now expects to see the EUR0.0109 MTR introduced from 1 January 2014, more than nine months ahead of the original schedule. The three larger cellcos will now see termination rates fall to EUR0.0342 from 16 April 2012, before reducing further, to EUR0.0284 and EUR0.0225 in October 2012 and May 2013 respectively, and to EUR0.0167 on 16 October 2013. The final drop, to EUR0.0109, will then take place on 1 January 2014. For fourth-placed Yoigo, meanwhile, a reduction from its current EUR0.0498 rate to EUR0.0402 will take place on 16 April 2012, prior to reductions to EUR0.0316 and EUR0.0241 in October 2012 and May 2013. Rate symmetry will now be achieved on 16 October 2013 when Yoigo adopts a MTR of EUR0.0167, in line with its rivals, and it will also fall in line with the final reduction to EUR0.0109 from the start of 2014.
In announcing the revised MTR timetable, the CMT reiterated its hopes that the reduced termination rates will help stimulate competition in the country’s wireless sector, while also encouraging lower prices to retail customers.