As part of the OECD’s ongoing work to stimulate competition and innovation in mobile phone markets (see here for most recent news release on mobile roaming), this new paper aims to contribute to the current debate among regulators in OECD countries who are reducing or considering the phasing out of the fees telecommunication network operators pay for delivering telephone calls to mobile wireless providers, known as mobile termination rates (MTRs). This is because mobile operators have a monopoly over the termination of calls on their networks.
While it finds that rates have decreased across the OECD by 53% between 2006 and 2011, from USD 0.1406 in 2006 to USD 0.0650 per minute, there is still much divergence between countries. Rates are at zero in Canada and vary from the lowest (the United States (USD 0.0007/min), Israel and Turkey (USD 0.0203/min) to the highest, including Estonia (USD 0.142/min) and Chile (USD 0.165/min).
Termination rates in USD across the OECD on 5 May 2011 (Source: OECD)
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The complexity and difference in the way that operators charge fees makes it difficult to draw a link between rates charged and prices paid by users for voice calls in different countries. But cutting rates to zero would strengthen competition in voice and other services, says the report. It could also speed up the introduction of innovative new VoIP services and encourage providers to offer a range of tariff models to meet the needs of their users, free from prices reflecting monopoly power on the networks of others.
The report "Developments in Mobile Termination" is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9f97dxnd9r-en.
The author Rudolf van der Berg is also available to answer any questions at +(33) 1 45 24 93 67, (+33) 6 58 15 85 08, or email@example.com
Developments in Mobile Termination (OECD Digital Economy Paper 193)