16 March 1999
In its decision dated 1st March 1999, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) ruled on the dispute between SFR and France Telecom, which had been lodged by SFR on 1st December 1998.
The dispute concerned the interconnection conditions for incoming calls on the SFR network. More specifically, it was necessary to determine the type of interconnection applicable to calls from subscribers on France Telecom's fixed network to users of SFR's mobile network, called "incoming national traffic", as well as the interconnection conditions applicable to calls originating on foreign networks, transiting through France Telecom's networks to SFR customers, called "incoming international traffic".
Concerning incoming national traffic, ART's decision stipulates that SFR will have to make an interconnection offer to France Telecom for terminating calls to users of its network. Thus, SFR will have to set an interconnection tariff and identify the interconnection points on its network. ART's decision does not bring into question the principle, included in SFR's authorisation, of its right to set prices for calls originating on France Telecom's network to the mobile network.
Concerning incoming international traffic, ART ordered a temporary solution applicable for three months, during which France Telecom must pay SFR 90% of the "mobile surtaxes" it receives from certain foreign operators when they sent traffic to France to mobile telephones.
ART also states that the fight against internationally rerouting calls to mobile phones, a practice based on negative economic foundations, uses two complementary and converging processes:
- a decrease in the price of national calls to mobile telephones
- an increase in the call termination charge for calls from foreign countries to French mobile telephones
In the near future, ART will call a round table including mobile operators and France Telecom to discuss incoming calls on mobile networks. At their first meeting on 12 February, they set the goal to adopt common directions and apply initial measures within a period of three months.