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CALL FOR TENDERS

Costs of voice termination on fixed networks in the EU/EEA

The European Commission will soon launch a call for tenders for a service contract of a maximum value of EUR 350,000. The purpose of this call for tenders is to assess the costs of providing voice termination services on fixed networks in the EU/EEA (study reference: SMART 2018/0014).

In October 2016, the Commission made legislative proposals to the European Parliament and the Council for a Directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). In Article 73 and Annex III of the draft proposal, the Commission proposed that it should adopt delegated acts concerning two single maximum termination rates (hereafter, Eurorate) to be imposed by national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on undertakings designated as having significant market power (SMP) in fixed and mobile voice call termination markets respectively in the Union.

In October 2017, the co-legislators initiated discussions to find agreement on the Commission's draft proposals on the EECC, including the future regulatory treatment of termination rates, on the basis of the European Parliament's report and the Council Coreper mandate adopted around the same time. Although these discussions are still ongoing, and may result in legislative amendments until the adoption of the final text on the EECC by the co-legislators, there is at present common ground between the co-legislators on the need for the Commission to set single Eurorates for fixed and for mobile voice call termination services, respectively. 

In the context of the adoption of the EECC described above, the present study, financed by the Commission, will assist the Commission in assessing the costs of providing wholesale voice call termination services on fixed networks in the Union. The cost model resulting from this study will be one of the inputs used by the Commission to determine an appropriate single Eurorate for fixed voice call termination services in the Union, if mandated by the co-legislators. In light of the variety of views that are likely to arise on many aspects of the cost model, it is particularly important that it will be widely considered fit for the purpose of assessing the costs of fixed voice call termination services in the Union, as well as reconciling appropriately the different views of NRAs and stakeholders. In this regard, the consultation process with NRAs, BEREC and other stakeholders throughout the project, and the contractor's response to the feedback received, will be of utmost importance.