Anacom challenges mobile operators to lower call origination charges

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Anacom wants mobile telecommunications operators to voluntarily lower the origination value of calls initiated on their networks. The amount in question remains unchanged since 2002, the date of the last regulatory intervention at this level. The operation set a maximum price, which operators have incorporated and have maintained since then.

Anacom considers that taking into account all changes in the market since then, namely the sharp drop in call termination rates, which have also changed at the expense of regulatory measures, the price charged for call origination has become disproportionate.

In a communication published on the website today, Anacom grants operators a deadline that ends on September 30, so that they can make voluntary adjustments to the price of origination fees. If the suggestion is not accepted and the values ​​remain, the regulator guarantees that the issue will be analyzed in the context of the review of the respective market, which will probably result in the fixing of maximum prices.

In the suggestion of a reduction in wholesale tariffs, Anacom considers that the ideal would be a revision that would bring the prices of call origination to the level of prices practiced for call termination. Origination fees are currently at values ​​that are 100 percent above the values ​​practiced at termination.

The regulator’s action reacts to a set of complaints received over the years about the pricing policy of operators at this level. Anacom believes that maintaining the same prices over the past 6 years harms competition, wireline operators and consumers who, in the final analysis, have access to more expensive services.

The price drop suggestion made today by Anacom also extends to the price of billing and collection services, later associated with the amount charged, increasing its value. In this regard, the regulator stresses the fact that most mobile users use prepaid cards, exempting operators from this type of service.

«Call origination services provided by national mobile operators are defined as services by which operators carry a call originated at a mobile terminal point in their network, up to the interconnection point indicated by another operator», defines Anacom.

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