PTS decides on rules for mobile operators

03/11/2010

The board of the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has made a decision today on renewed rules which mean that mobile operators must accept call traffic from other operators and maintain cost-orientated prices.

Interconnection of networks represents a fundamental precondition for consumers, businesses and organisations to reach each other. PTS wants to prevent operators charging excessive prices for services that they sell to each other and that are required for interconnection to function. Improved competition between operators in the market is expected to result in greater freedom of choice and lower mobile telephony prices for consumers.

There have been similar rules for major mobile operators since 2004, but today’s decision means that more operators will be covered by these rules. The operators that will continue to have obligations in the market are Hi3G, Tele 2, Telenor and TeliaSonera. New operators that did not previously have obligations have been added: AINMT (Net1), Lycamobile, TDC and Ventelo.

This decision has been made following consultation with the operators, the Swedish Competition Authority and the European Commission over the period to April to October 2010. PTS has made some amendments to the original draft decision in light of the views submitted during the consultation. For example, PTS has removed the proposed obligation for separate accounts and has clarified the market definition.

This decision applies from and including today. Read the decisions.

For more information, please contact:
David Troëng, head of Competition Department, tel. 070-861 72 19
PTS's Press Office, tel. 08-678 55 55

What is the problem in the mobile voice call termination market?

Each operator, since they control access to their end users, has a monopoly on terminating calls to its own end users. A competing operator has consequently no other choice than to send a call to the network of the operator where the end user is located. This monopoly situation creates incentives for operators to charge each other the highest price possible when they terminate calls in their own network. These high prices have a negative impact on competitors and ultimately the competitors' end users.

Another problem is that there is a considerable price difference between terminating in fixed and mobile networks; it is currently around ten times more expensive to terminate in mobile networks. This favours major mobile operators while being unfavourable to small mobile operators and fixed network operators.

 

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) monitors the electronic communications and postal sectors in Sweden. The term ‘electronic communications’ includes telephony, the Internet and radio. The Agency works with consumer and competition issues, efficient utilisation of resources and secure communications. Read more at www.pts.se.