The UK’s Competition Commission has told the country’s four mobile network operators – O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone – that it believes they are acting without competitive constraint in setting ‘call termination’ charges.
This statement came ahead of a full review, which is expected later this year or in January 2003. Telecoms regulator Oftel referred the charges to the Commission earlier this year, after operators complained against its plans to cap them.
According to the competition, mobile operators are monopolists in relation to the supply of termination services on their own networks. This means that without regulation, there are incentives to increase the charges for these services.
However, the Commission stresses that it has not made its mind up on the issue. It has sent its findings to the operators (and to Oftel) so that they can defend themselves against the concerns raised, and potentially come up with an alternative solution.