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Thursday 13 August, 2020

OFCOM

Ofcom: Review of wholesale call markets

RNS Number : 8321V
Office of Communications
13 August 2020
 

12 August 2020

Ofcom review of wholesale call markets

Ofcom has today published a consultation on our proposals for regulating the wholesale markets that underpin landline and mobile telephone calls in the UK. These would apply to the period between April 2021 and March 2026.

Call termination

When people call a UK mobile or landline number, the caller's network provider pays a wholesale charge to the recipient's phone company for connecting the call. This is called a 'termination rate'.

To continue to protect customers from high prices, we propose capping termination rates for calls made and received in the UK, based on the cost of connecting a call. Our proposals include:

· For calls to mobiles, our base case proposal is a cap of 0.389p per minute, which is lower than the current cap of 0.468p per minute. We also propose to continue applying this mobile termination cap to calls to '070' numbers.

· For calls to landlines, we propose to maintain the current cap of 0.0292p per minute in real terms.

· When someone calls a UK number from abroad, we propose that UK providers should charge no more than the rate they are charged when their customers make calls to that international destination.

Call origination and interconnection

Currently, some phone companies use BT's wholesale 'call origination' service to enable their customers to make calls on their landline. Over the next few years, landline calls will be increasingly carried over more modern, Internet Protocol (IP) networks. So we propose to deregulate wholesale call origination, as providers will no longer need to purchase it from BT.

As industry moves away from using the traditional telephone network, we expect companies will increasingly interconnect with each other using the more modern IP interconnection networks. So we have set out how we intend to regulate BT's IP interconnection service.

Today's consultation closes on 7 October, and we intend to publish our final decisions before the new regulation takes effect in April 2021.

Further details can be found on the Ofcom website: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/2021-26-wholesale-voice-markets-review

ENDS


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