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Telecoms: New Recommendation on fixed and mobile termination rates adopted

13.4.2011

PR(11)29

The Authority today adopted a new Recommendation on the calculation of fixed and mobile termination rates in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


Termination rates are the wholesale fees charged by telecommunications operators to connect a call from another operator's network. The rates are normally set by national regulators and form part of every user's phone bill.

At the end of 2010, mobile termination rates varied widely in the EFTA EEA countries:

  • Norway: 0.50 - 0.95 NOK/min. (approximately 6 - 12 Euro cents/min.)
  • Iceland: 6.5 - 10.3 ISK/min. (approximately 4 - 6 Euro cents/min.)
  • Liechtenstein: an average of 28 Rappen/min. (approximately 21 Euro cents/min.)

In comparison, the rate in Sweden was 2.7 Euro cents/min. and in Finland 4 Euro cents/min.

The Authority sets out clear guidance for telecoms regulators on the costing methodology to be used when calculating termination rates. This forms part of the harmonisation of the regulatory regime in the field of electronic communications, networks and services across the whole of the EEA.

Today's Recommendation sets out  the following principles:

  • Termination rates should be based only on the costs that an efficient operator incurs to establish the connection.
  • Termination rates should be the same for all operators.
  • Exceptions are foreseen under certain circumstance for limited periods of time, to account for cost differences outside an operator's control.
  • Less well-resourced regulators are permitted to benchmark termination rates against the average set by EEA regulators implementing the recommended cost methodology.

National regulators are required  to take “utmost account” of the principles set out in the Recommendation.

Eliminating price distortions between telephone operators across the EEA will lower consumer prices for voice calls within and between EEA Member States, and help investment and innovation in the telecoms sector. Higher mobile termination rates make it harder for fixed and small mobile operators to compete with large mobile operators. These divergences, and differing regulatory approaches, undermine the Single Market and Europe's competitiveness.

The European Commission adopted a similar Recommendation (2009/396/EC) in May 2009.

The Authority's new Recommendation is applicable immediately and is accessible on the Authority's webpage: http://www.eftasurv.int/

Further information on the activities of the Authority in the field of electronic communications can be found under: https://eea.eftasurv.int/portal/

 

For further information, please contact:

Trygve Mellvang-Berg,
Press & Information Officer
Tel: (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
Mob: (+32)(0) 492 900 187




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