Telia requests county administrative court to repeal decision on interconnection charges

Telia, in an appeal to the county administrative court system in Sweden, has requested the court to repeal the decision made by the Swedish National Post and Telecommunications Agency (PTS) on May 31, 2000 to reduce interconnection charges for mobile telephony. Telia has pointed out, among other things, that the PTS's calculation method is incomplete and leads to incorrect pricing.
"For Sweden to maintain its position as a leading IT nation in the long term, there must be a willingness to invest in new infrastructure," commented Lars-Erik Samuelsson, President of Telia's mobile communications company in Sweden, Telia Mobile Sverige. "Simply put, the dispute in the county administrative court system is all about making it more profitable to build, operate and develop mobile networks, instead of just purchasing space in existing networks."
PTS decided in March and May to require Telia to reduce its interconnection charges - the prices that other operators must pay when they use Telia's mobile network. Even if the PTS's decision pertains only to Telia, other mobile operators must comply with it. Telia chose to contest the decision with the county administrative court in June.
In an appendix to Telia's appeal, Professor Lars Hultkrantz points out the risks of incorrect pricing. He maintains, among other things, that if regulatory measures are too strong, they will undermine the willingness of companies to invest in network capacity.
"Several studies show that Sweden has relatively low prices for mobile telephony, despite the country's sparse population and the fact that we have virtually 100 percent geographic coverage," says Lars Erik Samuelsson.
Telia also points out in its appeal that the PTS has not followed the recommendations of the EU Commission regarding the procedures for deciding interconnection charges. A comparison with the calculation method used by the British competition authority, MMC, also shows that Telia, if it applied the same method, would be entitled to charge an interconnection charge that would be about 50 percent higher than the PTS's price.
Susanne Amlert, Communications Manager, Telia Mobile, +46 8 601 80 82
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