ComReg gets tough with mobile operators

30 Jun 2003

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has decided to get tough with local mobile network operators O2 and Vodafone and break what many claim to be a cosy duopoly. ComReg has told the two networks to cut the termination rates they charge for accepting calls from outside their own network.

ComReg’s chairperson Etain Doyle has given the two operators a fortnight to review their termination rates or “face intervention.”

The threat follows a call by third mobile operator Meteor in recent months to allow it to access either providers’ networks in Donegal and other locations and ahead of an EU Directive in the month ahead which will bring mobile termination charges under the remit of the regulator.

O2 and Vodadfone say that their termination charges are much lower than in the UK. Termination charges are the rates mobile operators charge other operators to connect calls.

A landmark decision in the High Court in London in recent days upheld a decision by the UK telecoms regulator to cut termination rates in the UK.

By John Kennedy