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Extracts from the joint press conference by Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes on telecoms termination rates

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Viviane Reding, Member of the EC in charge of Information Society and Media, and Neelie Kroes, Member of the EC in charge of Competition, held a joint press conference to address the press and the public on the fact that on 7 May the European Commission has set out clear guidance for EU telecoms regulators on the cost-based method to be used when calculating termination rates – the wholesale fees charged by operators to connect the call from another operator's network which are part of everyone's phone bill. The guidance was in the form of a "Recommendation" that national regulators were obliged to take "the utmost account" of. The Recommendation indicated specifically that termination rates at national level should be based only on the real costs that an efficient operator incurs to establish the connection. Eliminating price distortions between phone operators across the EU would lower consumer prices for voice calls within and between Member States, saving business and household customers at least €2 billion in 2009-2012, and help investment and innovation in the entire telecoms sector. Mobile termination rates varied widely in the EU in 2008 from 2.00 euro cents per minute (in Cyprus) to 15 euro cents per minute (in Bulgaria). Mobile termination rates (on average 8.55 euro cents per minute) were also typically 10 times higher than fixed termination rates (on average ranging from 0.57 to 1.13 euro cents per minute). Higher mobile termination rates made it harder for fixed and small mobile operators to compete with large mobile operators. These divergences, and differing regulatory approaches, undermine the Single Market and Europe's competitiveness.
SHOTLIST INFO PRESS

Type: EbS   Reference: 63470   Date: 07/05/2009   Duration: 00:04:16
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