EC calls on Finnish regulator to amend MTR proposals after three-month investigation

28 Jul 2015

The European Commission (EC) has issued a recommendation to the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) in which it has concluded that the latter’s mobile termination rates (MTRs) proposal does not follow the European Union’s (EU’s) recommended approach for calculation of MTR costs. In a press release confirming the development, the EC noted that a three month investigation of the FICORA’s MTR proposals had led it to conclude that, if adopted, the rates in Finland would be approximately 25% above the average set by regulators in the other EU member states.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2015 announced it would examine the FICORA’s proposal to allow Finnish mobile network operators to recover MTR costs other than those strictly related to the incremental costs of provision of wholesale termination services. At the time, the FICORA argued that its regulatory proposition promoted competition, while noting that the Information Society Code, which is in force in Finland, did not enable the use of the cost calculation model recommended by the EC. As per its proposition, the Finnish regulator had suggested that MTRs should not exceed EUR0.0125 (USD0.0135) per minute, effectively meaning a 33% reduction from the current level.

Having made its decision, the EC has now called on the FICORA to withdraw its proposal or amend it in order to bring it in line with EU telecom rules, with the Finnish body having been given one month to communicate the adopted measure to the Commission. Should it decide not to amend or withdraw its proposal on the basis of the recommendation, the EC has requested that it provide it with ‘a reasoned justification, explaining why FICORA’s approach is more appropriate in view of specific Finnish circumstances, than the recommended model’.