Economic Policies and Methods of Determining the Costs of Services Related to National Telecommunication/ICT Networks Including Next-Generation Networks

Final Report [Question 4/1]

The report takes stock of different cost models and considers new methods of charging telecommunication/ICT services in a Next Generation Network (NGN) environment. It explains the challenges that new charging methods entail for both regulators and consumers. It questions whether, for example, those methods in particular open bundled offers and flat rates, respect the principles of correctness and fairness, inasmuch as not all tariff arrangements are based on smart online charging systems which take into account the specific needs of consumers. Charging on the basis of bundled offers and flat rates appears to be widespread, but do the consumer really need all the services contained in the bundled offer for which he/she is paying a flat rate for, and is he/she in fact able to consume all those services? The report recognizes that telecommunication/ICT services have become more affordable, however, prices could come down further given the cost reductions associated with provision of these services in an NGN environment. Based on an analysis of findings gathered through surveys and detailed case studies, the report shares some guidelines on how to promote infrastructure sharing, how to encourage price/tariff reduction to consumers through competition and how access to and use of telecommunication/ICT services can be further stimulated.


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