ARCEP publishes its market analysis decision on fixed telephony (third cycle: 2011-2014)

Paris, 29 July 2011

On Tuesday, 26 July 2011, ARCEP adopted its market analysis decision on fixed telephony which will come into effect for a period of three years upon its publication in the “Journal officiel”.

After having received a positive opinion from the Competition Authority, and after having taken into account the remarks made by the European Commission and the sector’s stakeholders, which were received on 11 July, on 26 July 2011 ARCEP issued its final decision on its analysis of the fixed telephony market.

Among the salient points in the decision, ARCEP sets the maximum average call termination rate that landline carriers can charge for a fixed line call in France. Starting on 1 January 2013, this rate will reflect the long-run incremental cost of an efficient generic operator, i.e. 0.08 eurocents a minute, in accordance with the European Commission recommendation of 7 May 2009. Intermediate ceiling tariffs – of 0.3 and 0.15 eurocents a minute, as of 1 October 2011 and then 1 July 2012 respectively – will enable a gradual transition to this final rate.

This decision also lightens pricing obligations concerning the initiation of calls to VAS (value-added service) numbers that are imposed on France Telecom – with a view to eventually achieving a system of symmetrical obligations for all wireline carriers. France Telecom’s obligations will therefore change from the current obligation to charge cost-based prices to being forbidden to charge excessive prices for this service. A multi-annual pricing schedule specifies the maximum average prices that France Telecom can charge during this cycle: i.e. 0.43, 0.415 and 0.4 eurocents a minute, as of 1 January 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

And, finally, this decision also specifies certain obligations with a view to:

  • simplifying the France Telecom interconnection architecture over the next 18 months for calls to numbers associated with accessing a voice over broadband phone service;
  • and continuing to improve France Telecom’s wholesale line rental (VGAST) solution, which will benefit non-residential customers in particular.