Carrier pre-select faltering, says ComReg

18 Apr 2003

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is to review the availability and take-up of carrier pre-selection in the Irish marketplace, following concern that take-up of the service in Ireland is significantly below international standards.

Operators who opt for carrier pre-selection (CPS) compete with the telecommunications incumbents by negotiating special deals with various carriers whilst using Eircom’s physical network.

A review last year by ComReg gave rise to changes in CPS prices whereby operators could opt for wholesale line rental and a single billing option, which initially gave rise to growth in CPS numbers and created a degree of stabilisation in the level of churn.

However, ComReg is concerned that progress to date appears to be slowing down. “Overall levels of CPS usage are around 10pc, which is significantly below international best practice where figures in excess of 20pc have been achieved by some countries,” ComReg said in a statement.

“Churn also seems comparatively to be very high and this, combined with the costs of customer acquisition, raise serious questions on the potential for industry and consumers to fully optimise the benefits that CPS can bring in terms of price choice and quality.”

ComReg says that the review will focus on all elements of the CPS framework and will try to identify ways to grow competition through CPS, particularly in the areas of wholesale line rental and single billing. Ireland will be among the first countries in Europe to roll out such services.

By John Kennedy