HomeInsightsOfcom publishes consultation on proposals to regulate mobile call termination market

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The consultation covers the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2021.

Ofcom explains that mobile call termination is the wholesale service provided by a mobile operator to connect a call to a recipient on its network. When calling a UK mobile number, the caller’s phone provider pays a wholesale charge to the recipient’s mobile operator for connecting the call. This is the “mobile termination rate” (MTR). Because the caller’s provider has no other choice than to pay this charge, MTRs are currently subject to regulation.

As in previous reviews, Ofcom has proposed a charge control on MTRs: a maximum cap, based on the estimated cost of connecting a call. This would apply to all mobile operators connecting calls in the UK from 1 April 2018. The proposals are designed to promote competition and protect consumers from high prices.

Ofcom says that MTRs have fallen significantly over the years, as a result of Ofcom’s regulatory intervention. Ofcom also says that its proposed charge control would mean that the current cap of c.0.5p per minute would fall by around a tenth in real terms by April 2021.

The consultation closes on 5 September 2017. Ofcom plans to publish a statement by March 2018. To access the consultation, click here.