"We are hugely disappointed that Telenor will still have to subsidise our largest competitor TeliaSonera (NetCom/Chess) with several hundred million Norwegian kroner every year," said Morten Karlsen Sørby, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Nordic.
For Telenor, the greatest surprise is that the Ministry for Transport and Communications, in its final decision, goes even further than the PT, by increasing the price gap between Telenor and NetCom from 38.4 per cent to 40 per cent.
"As a result of this decision, Telenor will be handing an annual gift package to TeliaSonera worth approximately NOK 350-400 million," continued Morten Karlsen Sørby. "In Sweden, where Telenor's market share is lower than what TeliaSonera has in Norway (16 per cent and 33,9 per cent respectively, at year-end 2005), we are not offered any such advantageous terms, and we have been instructed to adopt the same call termination charges as the other large players."
"The ESA presented objections to the discriminations that we now have been subjected to, and said in a statement that such a practice would have to be very well founded. We are surprised to learn that the Ministry for Transport and Communications has chosen to ignore these objections. However, we have also registered the Ministry's notice that the regulations may be altered in the period ahead. We feel that this presents a clear guidance for PT's future regulation efforts," ended Morten Karlsen Sørby.
Facts The call termination charge is the rate that mobile operators charge to receive calls from customers registered with other telecommunications providers. Today, it is more expensive for customers of Telenor to call customers of NetCom, than what it is for customers of NetCom to call Telenor. The decision forms part of the new Norwegian ECOM legislation, which is based on common regulatory principles adopted by the EU and EEA.
The decision specifies that Telenor's call termination charges must be reduced from NOK 0.73 to NOK 0.65 as from 1 July 2006. From the same date, NetCom's call termination charges will be reduced from NOK 1.01 to NOK 0.91. Tele2's call termination charges will not be reduced, which means that the price difference between Telenor and Tele2 will be even greater than today.
For more information, please contact:
Pål Kvalheim, Communications Director Telenor Nordic, Tel: +47 970 44 970