Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
366. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he or a Government colleague will bring forward proposals to end the practice of grossly excessive termination charges for mobile phone users which produces supernormal profits for dominant companies and unacceptable costs for our economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15742/11]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): The regulation of the wholesale mobile voice call termination market is a matter for the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
I am anxious to ensure that mobile termination rates (MTRs) charged by Irish service providers are in line with those charged elsewhere in Europe and that Irish citizens and businesses benefit from the lowest call costs possible. Following regulatory intervention by ComReg in this market, commitments have been obtained from the main Irish mobile network operators to reduce their MTRs such that maximum Irish MTRs would be approximate to the European average — details of these commitments are publicly available in Information Notice 10/82 published on ComReg’s website.
Building on previous decreases, the latest reductions in MTRs take effect from 1 July next, with the blended average MTRs reducing by approximately 21% on the rates which applied in the previous six months. These latest reductions will continue to ensure that Irish average MTRs are in line with the European average.
I understand that a further review by ComReg of the wholesale mobile voice call termination market is currently underway and ComReg will consult on its preliminary findings later this year, including the imposition of any appropriate wholesale price control and other regulatory obligations.
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