29 November 2002
Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) has approved France Telecom’s interconnection technical and pricing offer for 2003.
- Interconnection with France Telecom: sales of over €1 billion
The interconnection catalogue sets the gross prices between France Telecom, the operator "with significant market power", and other operators. It therefore is a major element of regulation.
Since France Telecom has a major influence on the telecommunications market, it is obliged to publish its technical and pricing offer called a "catalogue", which establishes the conditions under which competing operators can interconnect to its network.
For 2002, interconnection is expected to represent sales of over €1 billion for France Telecom, and traffic volume of around 100 billion minutes, voice and Internet included, or close to 30% of the switched traffic on France Telecom’s local loop. This confirms that the market has truly been opened to competition.
As every year, catalogue preparation required long and in-depth discussions with all operators, in particular during the Interconnection Committee meetings, and negotiations with France Telecom.
The main points of the catalogue are as follows:
- Flat-rate Internet access: maintaining current technical and economic conditions
The flat-rate Internet interconnection offer (FII) lets operators pay for interconnection based on the number of accesses used, regardless of the number of minutes actually carried.
Added to the catalogue in 2002, this service, offered at the local (subscriber switches) and regional level (regional flat-rate interconnection access points) lowered the price of collecting low-speed Internet traffic, by over 30% compared with the prices paid by operators in 2001 for classic "time-based" interconnection.
The focus of discussions this year was whether to maintain or eliminate the "overflow" option offered at the local level, which lets operators transfer excess traffic to other circuits which are billed on a time basis.
A detailed survey conducted by ART, showed that this option, which is used by operators, is necessary to guarantee the use of flat-rate interconnection at the local level under satisfactory economic conditions. Eliminating it would result in a significant increase in the average cost of Internet collection.
Thus, ART asked that France Telecom maintain in its catalogue the current technical and economic conditions of its flat-rate interconnection offer.
- Voice services prices fall 1% to 4%
The decrease in base prices with respect to 2002 is: