Ofcom own initiative monitoring and enforcement programme into compliance with mobile termination rate (MTR) caps

04 April 2017

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative monitoring and enforcement programme
Investigation against: Mobile communications providers (“MCPs”) charging mobile termination rates (“MTRs”) above the permitted maximum cap
Case opened: 4 April 2017
Case closed: 10 August 2017 
Issue:
Compliance with the requirements under significant market power (“SMP”) condition M3 (the charge control condition), which imposes caps on the MTR which can be charged by MCPs designated as having SMP.
Relevant instrument: SMP condition M3 as set out in the Notification under sections 48(1) and 79(4) of the Communications Act 2003 dated 17 March 2015. (Contained in Annex 3 to Ofcom’s Statement entitled “Mobile Call Termination Market Review 2015-18”, published on 17 March 2015).

Update note – 10 August 2017

Ofcom is today announcing the closure of this monitoring and enforcement programme into MCPs’ compliance with SMP Condition M3. Under the programme, we have assessed the MTRs charged by MCPs for terminating mobile calls made from within the European Economic Area on their networks.

Overall our assessment found that the MTRs were priced in a manner consistent with the requirements of SMP condition M3, and we did not identify grounds in any case to justify taking enforcement action.

We will be writing to some MCPs to remind them of their obligation to ensure that the regulated rates are implemented at the correct time and to make them aware that any failure to comply with the MTR cap in the future may lead to enforcement action.

We have also identified that certain services offered by MCPs on the 07 mobile number range are not caught by the current price cap regulation. We are currently consulting on proposals in the 2018 MCT Review to make appropriate changes to the SMP condition to make clear it applies to all calls made to numbers in the ranges 071 – 075 and 077 - 079.1 Separately, we are also intending to consult on amendments to the The National Telephone Number Plan (PDF, 670.1 KB).

Further details in relation to our proposed changes to the regulation can be found in the 2018 MCT Consultation document.

End of update note

On 17 March 2015, Ofcom published the Statement “Mobile Call Termination Market Review 2015-18”. In this statement, Ofcom designated 72 MCPs as having SMP in relation to the termination of calls to UK mobile number ranges allocated to them by Ofcom and imposed SMP conditions on these MCPs.

All 72 MCPs are required to comply with SMP Condition M3, which imposed charge controls setting caps on the MTRs which these MCPs can charge for mobile call termination..

Ofcom has opened a monitoring and enforcement programme to assess compliance with SMP Condition M3 by the 72 MCPs, and to determine whether to take any further action, including enforcement action under the Communications Act 2003.

Case Leader: Mary Asante (email: mary.asante@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/01193/04/17

  1. Paragraph 3.48, 2018 Mobile Call Termination Review Consultation.