Wireless operators in the United Kingdom (UK) will be required to pay extra to transmit non-geographic calls through fixed network lines controlled by BT Group Plc, pursuant to a ruling handed down by the UK Supreme Court on Wednesday. At the heart of the case is BT’s decision in 2009 to enforce “ladder” pricing for calls that originate from non- geographic phone numbers beginning in “08.” Specifically, the ladder charges boost to retail levels the wholesale termination rates that BT already imposes on wireless operators for connecting popular 08 number calls. In turn, such charges are typically, but not always, passed on to subscribers by their mobile carriers. Although BT contends that such pricing “was designed to benefit UK customers by incentivizing the mobile operators to lower their retail prices,” various UK wireless carriers that include Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (EE), Hutchison EG UK and Telefonica O2 contested BT’s rate policy before national telecom regulator Ofcom, which concluded that the increased ladder rates were not “fair or reasonable.” Although BT convinced the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to overturn the Ofcom ruling, the nation’s Court of Appeal later overturned the decision of the CAT, which ultimately took the matter to the Supreme Court. Ruling in favor of BT and the CAT, the Supreme Court decreed that Ofcom had taken the wrong approach in deciding that the increased cost of -08 calls would be passed on to mobile service consumers. As a consequence of Wednesday’s decision, wireless operators throughout the UK will be required to pay BT retroactively for ladder charges on non- geographic calls that go back to 2009. Although one telecommunications executive predicted that such charges will add up to “tens of millions of pounds,” the exact amount will be determined by negotiations between affected wireless carriers and BT.