The European Commission (EC) has called on the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), Germany’s telecoms regulator, to amend or withdraw its current mobile termination rate (MTR) proposals. According to a press release from the EC, with the BNetzA having sought to introduce MTRs for mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) sipgate Wireless, which are up to 80% higher than in most other European Union (EU) Member States, EC Vice President Neelie Kroes was cited as saying: ‘I am very concerned by the fact that Germany continues to ignore the reasonable demands of the European Commission – setting it apart from all other Member States. Its approach towards mobile termination rates flies in the face of the internal market, and is detrimental to consumers.’
With an investigation into the matter having gotten underway back in May 2014, the EC claims the German authorities have ‘failed to provide justified reasons during the investigation … as to why it should be granted special treatment and be exempt from following the method calculating MTRs set out in the EU telecoms rules (see IP/09/710 and MEMO/09/222)’. Further, it is understood that the Body of European Telecoms Regulators (BEREC) has expressed its full support for the Commission’s position.
As such, the FNA is now required to either amend or withdraw its MTR proposal, and should it fail to comply with the EC’s recommendation legal action could be initiated.