Saturday , February 27 2021

The Czech Republic has the third highest interconnection rates in the EU. The CTU did not want to change them, European regulation is 80% cheaper –

Definitely, the Czech Republic is not one of the countries where mobile services are increasing. Apart from good coverage of the LTE area of ​​the penultimate fourth generation network, we have virtually nothing to boast about: expensive services, little competition, toothless virtual, an unmanaged frequency auction for 5G, which brought no significant new operator, and only in 2022 ending subway coverage.

The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ), as a national regulator, is trying to give the impression that it is on the side of consumers and is doing everything to improve it. In reality, however, thanks to their lax approach and inconsistent regulation, large operators have enough space to keep the entire market under control for a long time. An example of weak regulation is high interconnection loads.

80% discount in three years

The so-called amendment to the transposition into the Electronic Communications Act, which is a European regulation that different states must incorporate into their national laws, has been debated in the Chamber of Deputies for many weeks. The modification is abbreviated to Code (electronic communications) and even CTU itself promises to improve the consumer’s position in relation to operators. MEPs were due to approve the Code on 21 December 2020, but this has not yet happened. However, in Europe he is not the only one who has not succeeded; so far only 4 EU member states have announced the so-called transposition.

The Code also includes a new delegated regulation sets uniform maximum rates across the EU for voice call termination, that operators can charge each other for call services between their mobile (and also landline) networks. The Regulation will enter into force two months after its issuance (ie on 18 February 2021), unless the European Parliament or the Council of the EU comments on its form during this period.

The regulation introduces a uniform maximum tariff for mobile voice termination across the EU of 0.2 eurocents / minute (approximately 5 cents) from 2024. Until then, the regulated price will gradually decrease each year: in 2021 it will be 0.7 eurocents / min (approx. 18 cents), for 2022 the price will be 0.55 eurocents / min (approx. 14 cents) and the 2023 the price 0 .4 eurocents / min (approx. 10 cents). All prices are without VAT. Compared to the current UTC rate, the regulated price will drop to 80% in three years.

According to the CTU, it was no longer worth updating rates

To date, the Czech Republic has the third highest interconnection tariffs in the entire European Union. Currently, operators can charge up to 0.9589 eurocents / min, ie approximately 0.25 CZK / min without VAT, to end a call on their mobile network. These are wholesale termination rates, which operators charge each other as the cost of connecting the call and from which the minute price of the call is directly derived for end customers.

With the current price cap, that means that the final price for consumers can never be (when calling a foreign network) less than CZK 0.30 per minute (VAT included)without your operator working on the service. In reality, however, margins are still reflected in the price, so the actual price of a minute called is much higher and, unless it is an unlimited rate, it rarely falls below 1 CZK. .

Despite the call of the European Commission, the CTU decided not to change the amount of fees, because it would have to develop a new cost model (the so-called BU-LRIC) for this purpose, which it said would be too long. Instead, he waited for the so-called “euro rates”, ie uniform prices for the whole EU ordered by the European Commission. Currently, the Office continues to work with prices for five years since 2016. At the same time, the price level of mobile services has been steadily declining over time due to market principles and therefore regulatory tariffs. obsolete are completely ineffective.

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