European Commission expects Finland to apply stricter regulation to the mobile operators

Published 31.03.2015

The European Commission has issued an opinion on FICORA's market analyses concerning mobile network voice call services and draft decisions on significant market power. In the Commission's view, the obligations FICORA has proposed for telecommunications operators are not sufficient to remove competitive problems in the wholesale market. However, the Commission agreed with the conclusions of the market definition in FICORA's market analysis and designation of undertakings with significant market power.

According to the European Commission, FICORA calculates interconnection fees contrary to the Commission's recommendation, which leads to an excessive price level. According to the Commission's view, wholesale prices should be calculated in accordance with the cost calculation model recommended by the Commission. As a result of the Commission's opinion of 27 March, the Commission launched phase II investigation regarding FICORA's regulatory proposition.

FICORA's regulatory proposition promotes competition

The Information Society Code, which is in force in Finland, does not enable the use of the cost calculation model recommended by the Commission to FICORA. However, FICORA has proposed stricter regulation and also significant reductions in interconnection fees.

According to FICORA's regulatory proposition, interconnection fees charged by mobile operators should not exceed 1.25 cents per minute, which would mean that the current prices would be reduced by 33%. "We regard that the cost calculation model we use is appropriate and the price level achieved by means of it is reasonable", emphasises Deputy Director Marja Lehtimäki. FICORA is of the opinion that the regulation proposed by it would promote competition between operators and enable affordable mobile call prices in Finland also in the future.

The European Commission has no opportunity to request Member States to alter the imposed obligations, but phase II handling delays the issuance of the final decisions for several months. FICORA must continue preparing the decision in close cooperation with the Commission and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The purpose is to issue the final decisions as soon as possible after the consultation process has ended, approximately in early autumn.

Press release of the European Commission and the decision concerning opening a phase II investigation

Further information:

Marja Lehtimäki, Deputy Director, tel. +358 295 390 515
Sanna Hughes, Head of the Market Regulation group, tel. +358 295 390 522

An interconnection fee is a fee telecommunications operators pay to other operators for calls made from their own networks to competing networks. Interconnection between telecommunications operators is a requirement for communication between subscribers of two different operators. It is important that interconnection fees are reasonable so that all telecommunications operators and users would have access to communications networks and services, and that competitive conditions would be equal to all.

Key words: Telephone , Markets , Mobile phone , Prices , Significant market power , Telecommunications , News

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