TeliaSonera proposes lower interconnection rates for all operators in Swedish mobile market

TeliaSonera Mobile Networks AB is extending an offer to all telecom companies in Sweden to sign a mutual agreement to sharply reduce interconnection rates in mobile networks in Sweden. Equal terms for all operators are required for competition to function in the Swedish mobile telephony market.

TeliaSonera has always recommended having interconnection rates that are mutually beneficial to all operators. Today’s initiative by the company opens the door for establishing interconnection rates that would be considerably lower than today’s prices.

“Due to regulation of the industry, there has been a lack of interest in entering agreements about interconnection rates, but now we hope we can quickly reach an agreement on interconnection rates that are long-term and stable,” says Björn Lindegren, chief legal counsel at TeliaSonera Sweden.

The initiative is a consequence of a verdict made by the County Administrative Court to annul a decision by the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) in which TeliaSonera AB was characterized as being a Significant Market Power (SMP) in mobile termination. Despite the fact that both Tele2 and Telenor (formerly Vodafone) are SMP operators in Sweden, they have refused to reduce their interconnection rates which are very high in comparison to TeliaSonera's. This imbalance has helped maintain interconnection rates on an unreasonably high level and has also distorted competition in the Swedish mobile market.

Now TeliaSonera is offering operators in the Swedish telecom market the opportunity to sign a mutual agreement on interconnection rates for traffic to and from mobile networks. In accordance with TeliaSonera’s proposal, the interconnection rate would initially be reduced to SEK 0.64, which would be in line with a proposal made by the PTS.

Mobile operators in Sweden are currently charging interconnection rates ranging between SEK 0.80 and SEK 1.40 per minute. Differences in opinion about interconnection rates during the past few years has led to far-reaching and long, drawn-out legal conflicts. In TeliaSonera’s opinion, the ruling by the County Administrative Court underscores the necessity of reaching an agreement quickly about interconnection rates in Sweden; otherwise the long, drawn-out cases will continue in Swedish courts.

About interconnection: Interconnection is the term used when the mobile user of an operator wants to call a person in another operator’s network. The operator passing the call reaches an agreement with the receiving operator about connecting the call to its customer. For connecting, the calling operator pays the receiving operator an interconnection rate. SMP operator: a Significant Market Power or company with significant influence in the mobile termination market.

For further information journalists can contact:

TeliaSonera Sweden’s Press Office, +46 (0)8 713 58 30