Good morning. Our Mobile Sector Assessment is a chance to take stock of the role of regulation in a sector that affects almost every UK consumer, at home and at work. Our starting point is our two principal duties, to promote the interests of citizens and of consumers, including by promoting competition. These duties are at the heart of our analysis. This morning, I’d like to: briefly explain what the Assessment seeks to do, in the context of Ofcom’s wider strategic approach to telecoms talk about what we see, when we look at the sector today focus on the question of termination rates, which raise particular challenges for industry and regulators. The MSA - general The purpose of the MSA is to identify whether and how regulation needs to adapt to a changing market. Our goal is to ensure that the sector contributes fully to the UK economy and society.
Ofcom's Mobile Sector Assessment - where next?
Mobile Sector Assessment: Mobile citizens, mobile consumers Stuart McIntosh Ofcom Board and Partner, Competition Group 25 th September 2008
Our vision for the UK mobile and wireless sector <ul><li>A wide choice of networks and a wide choice of services on those networks </li></ul><ul><li>Easy and safe switching </li></ul><ul><li>A mobile internet that is as open and flexible as technology allows </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse content and applications (including protection from harmful content) </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer protection from mis-selling, scams and new risks including personal information </li></ul>
Mobile is the most popular telecom technology in the UK 7.3 9.9 Source: Ofcom research
During the consultation phase, we are focusing on … Strategic approach to mobile Consumer protection Build momentum and certainty by formulating a principles-based approach to consumer protection in the mobile sector Coverage What are the issues and how much impact do they have? What if anything might address these concerns? Future of termination Analysing the options for the future of termination rates and participating in the EU debate Adapting regulation Examining what regulation can be simplified or removed Setting criteria under which regulation could be removed Access and exclusion Why are some less able to access mobile services? Why if anything should policy-makers do about it?
Why do we regulate termination rates today? Calling party’s network Receiving party’s network Example: mobile to mobile call Note: The same principles apply to mobile to fixed, fixedto fixed and fixed to mobile calles Under calling party pays (CPP) subscriber A pay for the full cost of a call “…” The calling party network is then charged for the final leg of the call by the terminating network In making a call to a mobile subscriber, there is no way to by-pass the receiving party’s network. Each network has a monopoly for calls to its subscribers. £ Subscriber B chooses his/her network on the basis of factors such as call charges, recommendations, network of their calling circle – not cost of other people calling him/her £ A B
The case for change <ul><li>We see increasing pressure on the termination rate regime after 2011 from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fixed mobile convergence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition in a more diverse and complex mobile market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory burden </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The future of termination regimes (in both fixed and mobile) has been the subject of discussion and debate at the European level </li></ul>
What might the future regime look like? <ul><li>Options include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incremental costs only (e.g. the European Commission’s draft Recommendation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reciprocity between fixed and mobile (similar to the US model) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill and keep : set termination charges to zero by regulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deregulate mobile termination : no regulation of mobile termination rates after 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deregulate all termination: full deregulation would allow both fixed and mobile networks to freely negotiate two-way traffic exchange. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All these approaches carry important risks and transitional challenges </li></ul><ul><li>A non-exhaustive list of options is in the consultation: “Mobile citizens, mobile consumers” http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/msa08/msa.pdf </li></ul>
Timetable <ul><li>MSA Engagement Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholder meetings September to November </li></ul><ul><li>MSA Conference at Westminster Media Forum 25 September </li></ul><ul><li>Other external events (speaking events, conferences) September to November </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation Close 6 November </li></ul><ul><li>Ofcom International Conference 21 and 22 November </li></ul><ul><li>MSA Phase II </li></ul>