ARCEP settles two disputes between Bouygues Telecom and Orange France, and Bouygues Telecom and SFR on wholesale SMS mobile termination rates (MTR)

Paris, 17th November 2005

Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes (ARCEP) settles two disputes between Bouygues Telecom and Orange France on the one hand, and between Bouygues Telecom and SFR on the other, concerning SMS mobile termination (MT) pricing conditions.

Bouygues Telecom’s requests

In the dispute dated 11th July 2005, Bouygues Telecom requested that ARCEP:

  • set the SMS MTR of its two competitors at 2.5 € cents (€c) excluding VAT

  • introduce a pricing gap in its favour, setting its own SMS MTR at 3 €c excluding VAT

Both disputes resolved in equity

  • Concerning the admissibility of Bouygues Telecom’s requests

ARCEP has the legal competency to establish "equitable conditions of a technical and financial nature under which interconnection or access must be provided", in case negotiations between network operators fail. Since SMS mobile termination is covered by interconnection, ARCEP considered Bouygues Telecom’s requests to be admissible.

  • Concerning the level of SMS mobile termination rates

To this day, the analysis of the wholesale SMS call termination market on mobile networks, for which a public consultation was launched on 24th October, is not yet complete. Since no ex ante pricing control measure could be set against Orange France and SFR, ARCEP had to take into consideration other elements than the cost elements presented by Bouygues Telecom.

Under these conditions, ARCEP resolved the dispute according to the principles of equity, establishing an SMS mobile termination rate for all three mobile operators of 4.3 € cents excluding VAT, retroactively applicable beginning 1st July 2005. This tariff does not prejudice any regulatory obligations which might be imposed on the mobile operators upon the conclusion of the market analysis process.

Linked documents

ARCEP’s decisions  n° 05-0929 (pdf - 306 Ko)  and  05-0930 (pdf - 316 Ko)  dated 8 November 2005 are available for downloading (pdf)