Insights Ofcom publishes statement on its review of wholesale call markets


Ofcom has published a statement on how it will regulate the wholesale markets that underpin landline and mobile telephone calls in the UK for the period between April 2021 and March 2026.

To continue to protect customers from high prices, Ofcom is capping termination rates for calls made and received in the UK, based on the cost of connecting a call. This includes:

  • for calls to mobiles, the cap will be 0.379p per minute next year, which is lower than the current cap of 0.468p per minute; Ofcom will also continue applying this mobile termination cap to calls to 070 numbers;
  • for calls to landlines, Ofcom will maintain the current cap of 0.0292p per minute in real terms; and
  • when someone calls a UK number from abroad, Ofcom proposes that UK providers should charge no more than the rate they are charged when their customers make calls to that international destination.

Currently, some phone companies still use BT’s wholesale “call origination” service to enable their customers to make calls on their landline. Over the next few years, landline calls will be increasingly carried over more modern, Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Ofcom will therefore deregulate wholesale call origination, as providers will no longer need to purchase it from BT.

As industry moves away from using the traditional telephone network, Ofcom expects companies will increasingly interconnect with each other using the more modern IP interconnection networks. Accordingly, Ofcom has set out how it will regulate BT’s IP interconnection service. To access the statement, click here.