EC queries French MTRs

16 Apr 2012

The European Commission (EC) has expressed serious doubts about the plans of the French telecoms regulator Arcep to set higher mobile termination rates (MTRs) for newly launched fourth network operator Free Mobile, plus resellers Lycamobile and Omea Telecom. Arcep has set a rate of EUR0.024 (USD0.031) per minute for new operators in the first half of 2012 compared to EUR0.015 for established cellcos Orange, SFR and Bouygues, while there would still be a 40% difference between MTRs at the end of 2013. The Commission says that there is no justification for the regulator to set higher MTRs on the grounds that it is more expensive for new companies to provide call termination services. For these reasons, the EC says, the proposal might not comply with European Union (EU) telecoms rules. Arcep now has three months to work with the EC and the Body of European Telecoms Regulators (BEREC) on a solution to the case.

France, Arcep