Arcep shocks French mobile operators

The Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) says it wants mobile operators to reduce their mobile termination rates by around 30%, Reuters reports.

The regulator began a public consultation on the matter at the beginning of September. It is now seeking comment on the wholesale rates it want to impose on Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom - covering the period from 1 July 2009 to the 31 December 2009.

Arcep proposes to cut Orange and SFR's rate to €0.045 from the current €0.065, a drop of almost 31%, while Bouygues faces a close to 30% cut from €0.085 to €0.060.

France Telecom, which owns Orange, is already protesting that this would cost it many millions euros revenue.