Nkom confirms new wholesale mobile market decision

15 May 2020

Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has announced a new regulatory decision related to Market 15 (wholesale market for access and call origination on mobile networks), which will apply from 1 June 2020 and last for around three years.

In a press release, the telecoms regulator confirmed that – having analysed the local mobile market – it had determined that Telenor Norge still held significant market power (SMP) with regards to Market 15, and as such would continue to have special obligations imposed upon it. The regulator’s decision is partly designed to facilitate the continued rollout of a third nationwide mobile network by ice, and with the operator now looking to extend coverage in more sparsely populated areas, the Nkom has suggested that detailed requirements related to co-location and the introduction of new pricing models for the purchase of data traffic should ‘give ice better opportunities for efficient development’.

Meanwhile, with Telenor also obliged under the ruling to provide access to its network to MVNOs on non-discriminatory terms, the Nkom said the cellco will be required to do so at prices that will allow virtual operators to achieve positive margins. Specifically, for MVNOs access prices will reportedly be based on a full margin squeeze test, which assumes a 3% market share for the reference MVNO operator at the level of aggregation of the test.

With the EFTA Surveillance Authority (EFTA) having examined the regulator’s decision, it said it supported the Nkom’s analysis of the Norwegian mobile market, but has encouraged the regulator to monitor the market closely in the coming years for any signs of ‘sustainable tacit coordination’ between Telenor and the market’s other established MNO, Telia Norge.