The TRA issued the Access and Interconnection (A&I) Regulation in 2016, which governs the interconnection arrangements between Omani licensees. The A&I Regulation provides that charges for Fixed and Mobile Call Termination services (originated from domestic and international numbers) shall be fair, reasonable and based on forward looking long run incremental cost (LRIC) of efficient service provision. Accordingly, the TRA while determining the wholesale charges under Reference Access and Interconnection Offers (RAIOs) of dominant licensees (i.e. Ooredoo and Omantel) vide TRA Decision No. 67/2017 and Decision No. 68/2017 respectively, determined same Fixed Call Termination charges for calls originated from domestic and international numbers. The same approach was followed for Mobile Call Termination charges.
Omantel in its Review Request on TRA Decision No. 68/2017 argued that this approach will result in a significant loss of income for Oman and is likely to transfer benefits to foreign operators/subscribers as foreign operators would not pass the relevant reduced cost to their subscribers and would thus benefit from this without a significant increase in traffic.
The TRA in its Decision No. 50/2018 observed that Omantel’s proposal is contrary to the provisions of the A&I Regulation and there is no valid reason to artificially increase the price of this service as bringing an international incoming call to Oman using Omantel IGW is not part of this service. The TRA, therefore, did not endorse Omantel’s views claiming that the uniform termination rate will inflict loss to the Omani economy, because the other Omani IGW licensees bringing the calls to the country would still bill the price of an international call to the international operator. The TRA, however, decided to conduct a study to understand and decide what is good for the sector.
The TRA is pleased to invite all telecom licensees and other interested parties including consumers and the public to review the consultation document on “Review of the Termination Rates for International Calls” available at TRA’s website (www.tra.gov.om) and provide their valuable comments and views by 15th November 2019.
The TRA encourages respondents to support all comments with relevant argument and if relevant; data, analysis, benchmarking studies, etc. and submit them in writing through letter or email to the Authority at the following address;
Competition and Market Research Department
Competition and Tariffs Unit
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
P.O. Box 3555, P.C. 111
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Tel: 24 222222
Fax: 24 000222
The TRA shall give due consideration to all comments and contributions received from interested parties; however, incorporation of any proposed changes will be the sole discretion of the TRA.