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Mobile Call Termination

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  • Mark Armstrong
  • Julian Wright

Abstract

We analyse charges levied by mobile telephone networks to deliver calls. We integrate two literatures: one analysing calls from the fixed network, where predicted unregulated termination charges are too high, and one analysing calls from rival mobile networks, where predicted charges are too low. In practice, however, networks adopt uniform charges for terminating both kinds of traffic, as do regulators. We show how incorporating wholesale arbitrage and demand-side substitution helps to reconcile theory with practice. In our framework, the unregulated charge is uniform and typically lies between the efficient and monopoly benchmarks. There remains a rationale for regulation, albeit reduced. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 538 (06)
Pages: F270-F307

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:538:p:f270-f307

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  1. Dessein, Wouter, 2003. " Network Competition in Nonlinear Pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(4), pages 593-611, Winter.
  2. Gabrielsen, Tommy Staahl & Vagstad, Steinar, 2008. "Why is on-net traffic cheaper than off-net traffic Access markup as a collusive device," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 99-115, January.
  3. Christos Genakos & Tommaso Valletti, 2011. "Testing The “Waterbed” Effect In Mobile Telephony," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1114-1142, December.
  4. Berger Ulrich, 2005. "Access Charges in the Presence of Call Externalities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  5. Gans, Joshua S. & King, Stephen P., 2000. "Mobile network competition, customer ignorance and fixed-to-mobile call prices," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 301-327, December.
  6. Calzada, Joan & Valletti, Tommaso, 2005. "Network Competition and Entry Deterrence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Gans, J.S. & King, S.P., 2000. "Using 'Bill and Keep' Interconnect Arrangements to Soften Network Competiti on," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 739, The University of Melbourne.
  8. Mark Armstrong & Julian Wright, 2007. "Two-sided Markets, Competitive Bottlenecks and Exclusive Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 353-380, August.
  9. Berger, Ulrich, 2005. "Bill-and-keep vs. cost-based access pricing revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 107-112, January.
  10. Michael Carter & Julian Wright, 1999. "Interconnection in Network Industries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, February.
  11. Wright, Julian, 2002. "Access Pricing under Competition: An Application to Cellular Networks," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 289-315, September.
  12. Hoernig, Steffen, 2007. "On-net and off-net pricing on asymmetric telecommunications networks," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 171-188, June.
  13. Tommaso Valletti & George Houpis, 2005. "Mobile Termination: What is the “Right” Charge?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 235-258, November.
  14. Peitz, Martin, 2005. "Asymmetric access price regulation in telecommunications markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 341-358, February.
  15. Armstrong, Mark, 1998. "Network Interconnection in Telecommunications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 545-64, May.
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