5/30/2007 11:37:00 AM
3 appeals against Ofcom termination rates
3 is appealing to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Ofcom's new call-termination regulations, claiming that it will be 'subsidising the other networks' as a result of the new charges.
In April, Ofcom introduced a charge control which limits the rates charged by the networks for terminating calls on 2G and 3G networks. Following the move, 3 is subject to charge controls of 5.9p per minute, a reduction of around 45%.
Ofcom said: 'We are aware of Hutchison 3G's intention to appeal. Ofcom's decision (to extend regulation to include calls terminated on 3G networks) was the result of a rigorous two-year consultation exercise and we will robustly defend our decision.'
3 claims that as a 'young network', it has few customers making a lot of calls to other networks, thus paying out a lot more than it receives from other operators for calls. The network is also claiming that customers are not easily able to move onto the 3 network under the current Mobile Number Portability policy.
A 3 spokesman said: 'There is a traffic inbalance between our network and the other networks because we are younger. Under Ofcom's proposed system, 3 will subsidise other networks and we propose that should not happen.'
Meanwhile, Orange has made an appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against Ofcom's decision to get involved in an alleged dispute between the network and BT. Ofcom is consulting on several disputes between the operators and BT over call-termination rate levels, as well as between 3 and O2 and Orange.