Call Termination – Final Determination

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has today published its Statement of Results and Final Determination “on the Assessment of Significant Market Power in Call Termination Services in The Bahamas” , URCA document reference number ECS 13/2013.

Call termination is an essential wholesale service which all holders of Individual Operating Licences (IOLs) providing voice service need to purchase from each other in order to allow their customers to call customers on other public networks. Termination describes the service whereby one operator (the terminating party) accepts traffic that has originated on another network but which is destined for customers on its own network, and delivers that traffic to those customers.

URCA, having conducted a review of call termination markets in The Bahamas in accordance with the Communications Act, 2009 and the SMP Methodology considers that it is appropriate to make certain determinations regarding the definition of markets, the existence of licensees with SMP in those markets, and the extent to which ex-ante regulation is appropriate and necessary in those markets.

This final determination therefore addresses three critical areas: •Determination of Relevant Market – “Wholesale Call Termination” •Determination of Significant Market Power •Obligations Imposed on SMP Licensees

While this final determination reaffirms the remedies applicable to BTC’s call termination pursuant to URCA’s 2010 SMP decision [URCA document reference number ECS 11/2010], it imposes new SMP obligations on CBL and IP Solutions International Ltd (iPSi). “The fixed termination rates charged by CBL and iPSi to terminate traffic on their respective networks are subject to wholesale price control, to be determined by URCA upon further consultation with stakeholders.” CBL and iPSi are therefore prohibited from increasing the fixed termination charges from their current levels, during the transitional period. CBL and iPSi are additionally obliged to publish the tariff and non-price terms and conditions prevailing for all services it provides within the Wholesale Call Termination market.

This publication follows the May 17, 2013 release of URCA’s preliminary determination on the subject and outlines public responses to the consultative document. URCA’s consultation focused exclusively on call termination services provided on public networks in The Bahamas. Entities providing feedback included the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTC), Cable Bahamas Limited (CBL), including Caribbean Crossings Ltd and Systems Resources Group Limited, and Digicel to that paper.

A PDF copy of the document may be accessed via the relevant Consultation headings.