Appeals judge rejects EE’s bid to overturn Ofcom’s MTR reduction plans

7 Mar 2013

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, has failed in its effort to overturn a regulatory decision related to the reduction of mobile termination rates MTRs), Bloomberg reports. It is understood that, following EE’s decision to challenge Ofcom’s April 2011 decision to cut MTRs, appeals court judge Sir Alan Moses in a written decision agreed with an earlier ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which had previously rejected the cellco’s call to overrule the telecoms watchdog.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2011 EE called on the CAT to request that Ofcom reduce the proposed cuts. The decision proved costly however, with the CAT in February 2012 not only confirming that the reductions would stand, but going one step further by calling for marginally steeper drops in the earlier stages of the four-year glide path and suggesting a slightly lower end-figure for termination rates. Under the revised reduction plan set out by the CAT, by April 2014 the termination rate for all of the country’s network operators will fall to GBP0.0065 (USD0.0098) but, with the tribunal noting that its ‘main focus is on the years 2012/13 and 2013/14, years in which different glide paths would produce different MTRs’, deeper reductions will now take place in that period. Under the revised schedule, from 1 April 2012 operators’ termination rates fell to GBP0.0123, while from 1 April 2013 MTRs will be reduced to GBP0.0067.

Commenting on the latest development David Nieberg, a spokesman for EE, was cited as saying that the cellco was disappointed with the ruling.

United Kingdom, EE, Ofcom