Paris, November 19 2001
Pursuant to the guidelines relating to the interconnection conditions of the SMP mobile operators, that it published last June, the Autorité de régulation des télécommunications has decided a cut over three years of the average price of the charges for call termination. This decision will apply to the two mobile operators having significant market power on the national market of interconnection, which thus have to orient their tariffs on costs: Orange and SFR.
This charge for call termination is the main component of the retail price for calls originating from a fixed telephone towards a mobile; it represents the remuneration paid by the fixed operator to the mobile operator to carry the communication to its destination.
- a cut of nearly 40% over three years
The ART fixed at 1.32 franc per minute, 1.12 franc per minute and 0.98 franc per minute the average price of the charge for call termination, which will take effect respectively the 1st March 2002, the 1st January 2003 and the 1st January 2004.
These values correspond to annual falls of about 15% between 2001 and 2002, 15% between 2002 and 2003, and 12,5% between 2003 and 2004, hence a reduction of nearly 40% at the beginning of the third year.
This decision of the ART is a follow-up of the two successive falls of 20% which took place:
- at the autumn 1999, following a round table that ART had organised with the three mobile operators;
- in 2000, following the settlement by the ART of a dispute between MFS WorldCom and France Telecom Mobiles.
By choosing a cut of prices over three years, the ART is wishing to offer visibility to the market in response to a legitimate concern. This visibility for operators also constitutes for consumers the insurance of a significant and steady continuation of the downward trend of prices.
The ART takes into account the concerns of the consumers
1 - duration of the indivisible period
Although the purpose of this decision is not to define in precise manner the tariff structure of the operators, the ART notes that the charge for a first indivisible minute for any call strongly raises the cost of less than one minute calls.
The ART invites consequently the mobile operators to take into account on this point the concerns of consumers who wish that the paid price be more representative of the effective call duration.
2 – repercussion of this cut by the fixed operators
The cut decided by the ART will have to be reflected by the fixed operators in their tariffs.
This decision is in line with the pro-competitive policy confirmed last year by the opening of the carrier selection to fixed to mobile calls.
- the alignment of the termination charge for international calls on the national tariffs in 2003
The ART finally decided that Orange and SFR should amend their tariffs of call termination for international calls from the 1st January 2003, so that the same average price per minute will be charged for fixed to mobile call termination, be the call of national or international origin.
Baisse de la charge de terminaison d'appel sur les réseaux de SFR et Orange France (pdf - 160 Ko)
Décision n° 01-970 (pdf - 29 Ko) de l'Autorité portant sur le niveau de la charge de terminaison d'appel sur le réseau de Orange France
Décision n° 01-971 (pdf - 29 Ko) de l'Autorité portant sur le niveau de la charge de terminaison d'appel sur le réseau de SFR.