Market Shares, Consumer Ignorance and the Reciprocal Termination Charges
The aim of this paper is to study different regulatory effects on termination charges and social welfare. We employ a framework with a fixed network and two mobile networks competing in a market to study the following regulatory regimes: collusive and social welfaremaximising reciprocity, uniform termination charge, asymmetric regulation, and direct calling price. We incorporate the idea of partial consumer ignorance when calling to a mobile user and allow the network operator to discriminate between on-net and off-net calls by setting differential calling prices. Compared to the uniform termination charge and asymmetric regulation, it is shown in this paper that the regulator can improve social welfare, without too much intervention, by imposing reciprocity on termination charges. We also find that with stronger consumer ignorance the regulator is more capable of improving social welfare. Further we show that, depending upon the extent of consumer ignorance, direct regulation of calling prices may be a welfare-improving alternative over regulation of termination charges.
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