Telephone calls are an essential service for many people. Last year alone, 200 billion minutes of calls were made by customers using a landline or a mobile service. Competition in these markets can result in greater choice, innovation, better quality and lower prices for customers.To ensure competition is effective, Ofcom regulates a number of wholesale markets that support people’s ability to call each other.
The way people speak to each other on the phone has been changing significantly over time. Mobile use is increasing and landline use is declining. The traditional landline telephone network in the UK, the public switched telephone network, is coming to the end of its life and is gradually being replaced. Over the next few years, landline calls will be carried over more modern, Internet Protocol (IP) networks, and landlines services will increasingly be delivered over broadband connections.
This consultation sets out our plans for regulation of the wholesale markets for call services from April 2021 to March 2026. Our proposals reflect the changes occurring in these markets.