The European Commission (EC) has approved the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes’ (Arcep’s) draft decision regulating the markets for fixed voice call termination and mobile voice call termination from 2014 to 2017, although the European regulator has requested additional justifications for SMS termination rates. Arcep will now finalise the process for adopting its analysis of the wholesale markets for fixed voice call termination and mobile voice call termination, which is set to introduce a decrease in maximum call termination rates from 1 January 2015.
Meanwhile, the EC has requested additional justification for the regulation of the wholesale markets for SMS termination. The authority has questioned the relevance of a new SMS termination regulation that could, in its view, disadvantage the development of instant messaging (IM) services, and so reduce the resulting benefits to consumers in terms of choice, quality and price. The EC has, therefore, launched a two-month period of investigation and dialogue with Arcep and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), after which it will decide whether or not to approve the draft decision.