30 October 2000
In its decision dated 13 October 2000, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) ruled on a dispute opposing MFS Communications (the French subsidiary of the Worldcom group) and France Telecom Mobiles. The dispute concerned the prices proposed by France Telecom Mobiles for call termination on its network for calls from the MFS network. Thus, the dispute is over what is commonly called incoming calls, i.e. calls from a fixed phone to a mobile phone.
ART decided that France Telecom Mobiles will have to lower its call termination price by 20% beginning 1st November 2000 (France Telecom Mobiles will charge FRF 1.26 excluding VAT per minute for national calls and traffic from foreign networks).
ART reminded the complainants that it organised a round table last year with the three mobile operators and France Telecom on incoming call prices. Following discussions, prices were reduced by about 20%, to be applied in the autumn of 1999. In addition, an additional price decrease was to be applied in 2000.
Since that time, France Telecom Mobiles and SFR have been designated as having significant power on the interconnection market. Therefore, they are required to respect cost orientation for their interconnection prices.
Moreover, two other modifications will be applied as of 1st November 2000:
- the opening of transporter selection to mobile numbers will allow competition between fixed networks for routing traffic to mobile calls
- retail prices for fixed-to-mobile calls are now determined by the caller's operator, in accordance with common law
All of these decisions, which concern relations among operators, should benefit the consumer. Now, it is up to the operators to apply these measures, as quickly as possible, to the prices paid by consumers, according to their own timetable and in ways determined by each.
Finally, ART considers that another price decrease for calls to mobile phones should be applied in the next year. It invites concerned fixed and mobile operators to prepare for these new deadlines.
ART's decision no. 00-1092 (pdf - 44 Ko) on the dispute between MFS Communications and France Telecom Mobiles