CMT unveils plans to deregulate Telefonica’s fixed voice access fee

9 Jul 2012

Spain’s Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicacinoes (CMT) has revealed proposals in which it plans to deregulate the pricing of Telefonica de Espana’s monthly access fee, which is currently set at EUR13.97 (USD17.15) per month, excluding tax. The move, the regulator noted, comes after an analysis of the country’s fixed voice sector, which it said had shown that competition ‘had improved substantially, in particular by the pressure of bundled services’. Traditionally the CMT has been responsible for setting Telefonica’s access fee on an annual basis, and as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the regulator’s most recent decision regarding the charge came in September 2011, at which date it confirmed that it would remain at its EUR13.97 level until at least the end of 2012.

In outlining its plans, the CMT has noted that its original decision for the current pricing structure will remain valid, after which, from end-2012 Telefonica will be permitted to increase the rate, although by no more than the rate of inflation, until 2016. Further, in the retail market analysis of access to fixed telephone networks, the watchdog has said that it will keep a number of other obligations related to the fixed voice sector, including: that Telefonica should notify the CMT of fares and promotions prior to their introduction; that the incumbent’s prices will be examined to ensure it is not acting in an anti-competitive manner; and that carrier pre-selection services continue to be offered.

A public consultation on the proposals will now be conducted, and interested parties have been given one month to submit their views. Once the consultation has been completed the CMT said it will forward the draft measures to the European Commission (EC).