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Communications Commission proposes measures to reduce the cost of mobile phone calls

Published On:Friday, May 18, 2012

The Island’s Communications Commission has today published proposals for consultation aimed at bringing down the price paid by consumers for mobile phone calls.

The move follows a review by the Commission of the local mobile market, in which there are two operators – Manx Telecom (MT) and Cable and Wireless Isle of Man (C&WIOM) trading as ‘Sure’.

The Commission’s proposed measures to benefit consumers and to countermand potential competition problems are:

  • That MT and C&WIOM shall have an obligation to comply with directions from the Commission on the setting of Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs), the charges made by one network for receiving calls from another network, which can be a significant part of the cost of calling mobiles. The detailed implementation of this obligation shall be subject to further consultation.
  • That MT and C&WIOM shall maintain appropriate cost accounting systems in respect of the wholesale market for mobile call termination on their respective networks.

The Commission believes that these measures will encourage constructive competition in the Island’s mobile markets, without the burden and cost of excessive regulation. This will protect consumers while promoting investment and innovation. Regulators in all other European countries set the level of MTRs, and the European Commission believes this is necessary in order to bring down the price of mobile calls for consumers.

The Commission believes that these measures will encourage constructive competition in the Island’s mobile markets, without the burden and cost of excessive regulation. This will protect consumers while promoting investment and innovation. Regulators in all other European countries set the level of MTRs, and the European Commission believes this is necessary in order to bring down the price of mobile calls for consumers.

Chairman of the Communications Commission, Juan Watterson, MHK, explained:

“The Commission has adopted European best practice in reviewing the telecommunications markets, while making it appropriate for the Isle of Man. Across Europe, mobile termination rates have come down due to this form of regulation. Our proposals would result in lower terminations rates which should benefit consumers through lower call charges.”

Mr Watterson added:

“We hope that operators will cooperate and work with us to modernise the regulatory framework to benefit consumers and encourage investment in the networks and services that underpin our Island’s economy. This ongoing modernisation work is top priority for the Communications Commission and includes the updating of legislation, which will further address competition issues.”