8/18/2008 11:55:00 AM
Mobile operators owe BT millions for termination charges
Mobile companies owe BT millions for connection charges they made when BT customers called mobiles from their landlines, the competition appeals tribunal ruled last Friday.
The ruling covers the rows between BT and mobile operators, as well as the disagreement between 3 and O2 and Orange, when all the operators tried to increase the termination rates in 2006. The competition appeals tribunal ruled that prices should have been lower and repayments will have to be made.
Jeff Richardson, BT Retail's director of strategy, said: ‘BT is very pleased with the [competition appeals tribunal] result and sees it as an important step on the route to lower and fairer termination mobile rates.
'The judgment made by CAT only looked into a short period of time two years ago, but it sets a significant president for the mobile termination rates that are due to be ruled on later this year.
BT has been vocal in arguing against the high and complex termination rates mobile operators charge each other as well as fixed line operators. The company claims consumers are being charged an extra £1 billion per year.
Ofcom cut termination rates of the four biggest networks by 10-20% last year, while 3 saw its rate fall 45%. EU telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding is also looking into cutting rates by 70%.