The European Commission’s Recommendation on fixed and mobile termination rates (TRR) has been broadly successful in achieving its goal of lower and more consistent termination rates across the EU, promoting competition and enhancing consumer benefits, according to an evaluation report.

Termination rates are the rates telecoms networks charge each other to deliver calls between networks, and each operator has market power over access to customers on its own network. These costs are ultimately included in call prices to the detriment of consumers and business. The Commission published its recommendation in 2009 with the aim of achieving consistency between the various approaches applied by national regulatory authorities when regulating wholesale termination rates.

The evaluation report just published showed that while the TRR has led to improved consistency in the way these rates are regulated, and thus to improved consumer benefits, it also finds that a non-binding instrument such as the current TRR is unlikely to be sufficient to achieve a fully consistent regulation of termination rates across the EU. However, the cost methodology recommended by the TRR has since been included in the binding European Electronic Communications Code ("the Code"), which also requires the Commission to set EU-wide maximum wholesale termination rates for fixed and mobile voice calls by the end of 2020. The Code is expected to be formally adopted by end of the year.

The evaluation report also concludes that a cost-benefit assessment of the TRR indicates gains for consumers and industry of at least €1.7 billion, as compared to a situation without the TRR

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