Overseas area

ARCEP adopts a decision on regulated mobile call termination rates in France’s overseas markets in 2013

Paris, 3 December 2012

After having analysed the responses to the public consultation that ran from 26 July to 14 September 2012, and having received a positive response from the European Commission on 12 November, ARCEP has adopted a decision on the regulatory framework governing mobile (voice) call termination rates for operators in the French overseas markets, which will apply from 1 January to 31 December 2013.

The decision completes the third cycle of mobile call regulation

The regulation of mobile call termination (CT) rates, which has resulted in a steady decrease in wholesale market prices, created conditions that allowed competition to develop in the overseas markets and retail market plans that include an ever-increasing number of calling minutes to mobile numbers, both on and off-net, to thrive.

In its Decision No. 2010-1149 of 2 November 2010, ARCEP set the maximum call termination rate that operators in the overseas markets could charge during the period running from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012, and postponed the decision on future regulated call termination rates in the overseas markets for 2013.

The 2010 decision also stipulates that, in accordance with the European Commission recommendation, on 1 January 2013 the maximum CT rates must correspond to the long-run incremental costs of an efficient generic operator in each of the overseas markets.

A single maximum CT rate of 1 eurocent a minute for the Antilles – Guyana and the Reunion – Mayotte regions, starting on 1 January 2013

In light of the results of the network cost models produced for an efficient generic operator in the overseas markets of Antilles – Guyana and Reunion – Mayotte, ARCEP has set a maximum mobile wholesale calling rate of 1 eurocent per minute to be applied, as of 1 January 2013, by the leading carriers in both of these two regions.

ARCEP considers that this rate, which corresponds to long-run incremental costs, creates economic conditions that will help the development of high-volume plans in the overseas markets that include both mobile calls and fixed-to-mobile calls – as has been the case in Metropolitan France.

In addition, this decrease in CT rates virtually eradicates the gap between mobile call termination rates in the overseas markets and Metropolitan France: which now stands at only 0.2 eurocents a minute. It therefore completes the process of equalising call termination rates in overseas and mainland France, for both voice calls and SMS. ARCEP Decision No. 2010-0802 of 28 July 2010 had already set a maximum call termination rate for SMS in the overseas markets that was identical to the one set for mainland France – namely 1 eurocent per SMS – applicable as of 1 July 2012 in the Reunion – Mayotte region, and as of 1 January 2013 in the Antilles – Guyana region.

Bringing all of the regulated call termination rates in the overseas markets in line with those charged in Metropolitan France should help pave the way for calls and text messages to mobile numbers in the French overseas markets to be included in all operators’ flat rate plans.