|Oftel Press Centre Press Release Archive 2000|
|Oftel OPENS UP BTCELLNET AND VODAFONE NETWORKS TO NEW CALL SERVICE PROVIDERS|
Oftel today published the access charges to be paid by Indirect Access operators to Vodafone and BTCellnet for use of their networks.
New Indirect Access operators will open up the mobile call market for consumers to choose alternative suppliers for the delivery of their calls.
Under the new arrangements, consumers can choose to route calls via an Indirect Access operator by dialling the operators short access code followed by the telephone number in the normal way.
Announcing his determination of the definitive charges to be paid by the Indirect Access operators to the two networks, David Edmonds, Director General of Oftel said:
"With the determination of service charges, Indirect Access operators are now in a position to offer customers of BTCellnet and Vodafone greater choice in how their calls are handled.
"Mobile customers can now look forward to the availability of new deals from a range of alternative call suppliers. We are already seeing an increasing number of fixed telephone customers benefiting from Indirect Access services.
"Oftel is one of the first European regulators to mandate Indirect Access on mobile networks. In the UK, Indirect Access will be available for local, national and international calls."
Notes for Editors
1. The full text of todays determination of charges to be paid by INMS, a new Indirect Access operator, to Vodafone and BT Cellnet can be found on the Oftel website at www.oftel.gov.uk/competition/iavo0700.htm and http://www.oftel.gov.uk/competition/iabt0700.htm
2. Although the determination relates specifically to the dispute between INMS and Vodafone, following the principle of non-discrimination, the charges will be offered to other Indirect Access operators wishing to use the networks of BTCellnet and Vodafone.
3. INMS asked Oftel to resolve its dispute with Vodafone over indirect access and to set the conditions for the supply of the service in March 1998. In 1999 it sought parallel resolution of its dispute with BTCellnet.
4. Oftel included this issue in its comprehensive consultation on the competitiveness of the mobile market launched in February 1999. Oftel announced its conclusions on this review in July 1999 - including the obligation on Vodafone and BTCellnet to provide IA services.
5. Oftel specified that the charging basis for the service should be on a retail-minus basis ie derived from the retail prices of the network, not on a cost-plus basis (as is the case for Indirect Access services provided by BT). This was in recognition of the increasing competitiveness of the mobile market and in the interests of ensuring competition concentrates on more efficient ways of providing call services.