FNA sticks with original MTR decision

22 Jul 2013

Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as BNetzA), has announced the final mobile termination rates (MTRs) for the country’s four wireless network operators Telekom Deutschland (TD), Vodafone Germany, E-Plus and Telefonica Germany (O2). The watchdog said it will maintain the original rate of EUR0.0185 (USD0.024) per minute that was first approved on a provisional basis in mid-November 2012, despite calls from the European Commission (EC) in June to modify or withdraw the rates. Brussels noted that the FNA had not followed its recommendation on the determination of MTRs, instead adhering to its own tested method of calculating the rates on the basis of the costs of an efficient operator, which the EC said would result in charges that are around 80% higher than most other member states. In a press release, the FNA said that the cost calculation method recommended by the EC is not better suited to Germany for achieving the regulatory goals set out in the country’s Telecommunications Act, which includes the need to safeguard the interests of consumers and to ensure fair competition, and for promoting sustainable investment. The rate of EUR0.0185 per minute is payable retroactively from 1 December 2012, but will fall further, to EUR0.0179 per minute, on 1 December 2013. The FNA, meanwhile, claims that the EC does not have the power to veto its decision.