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November 7, 2011
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Commission has written to the Polish telecoms regulator, UKE, to express its serious doubts about the compatibility with EU law of UKE's proposed regulation of mobile termination rates (MTRs). This is the first time the Commission decided to use its new powers under Article 7a of the Telecoms Framework Directive (see MEMO11/321) to scrutinise remedies proposed by national regulators.
MTRs are the wholesale prices which telecoms operators charge each other for connecting incoming calls to subscribers using their networks and are ultimately included in phone call prices. The Commission has questioned UKE's proposal merely to publish recommended MTRs on its website in a non-binding form, rather than to regulate MTRs through legally binding, immediately enforceable regulatory decisions. The Commission is concerned that this approach would lack predictability and legal certainty for market players, allowing significant deviations from EU regulatory principles enshrined in the 2009 Commission Recommendation on the regulatory treatment of fixed and mobile termination rates in the EU (IP/09/710 and MEMO/09/222), and would violate important procedural requirements.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said: "UKE's proposal raises concerns about compliance with the regulator's duty to promote regulatory predictability and symmetric tariffs reflecting the low costs of providing these services. I expect that UKE will cooperate closely with the Commission and with other regulators to bring about greater transparency and predictability in the Polish market for mobile termination services".
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