Digicel fights OUR right to lower MTR

20 Jun 2012

Digicel Jamaica, the largest of the island’s two cellcos by subscribers, has filed a law suit against watchdog the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), challenging the regulator’s right to alter interconnection rates. According to Go Jamaica, Digicel claims that due process was not followed when the OUR announced earlier this month that it was lowering mobile termination rates (MTRs), saying that it was not consulted before the OUR acted. As noted by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the OUR set a new flat MTR at JMD5 per minute to come into effect from 15 July. The new rate was set as an interim measure to counteract the negative impact on competition caused by the merger of Claro Jamaica with Digicel and to ‘prevent the two remaining mobile operators from leveraging their dominance in terminating calls on their respective networks.’ Gary Sinclair, managing director of LIME Jamaica, Digicel’s sole competitor, has said that his company is likely to join the case on the side of the regulator to protect its interests. Sinclair added that the OUR gave telecoms providers an opportunity to participate in consultations on the new rate.