In 2006 and 2009 Polish NRA (UKE) identified three Polish mobile operators Plus, Era and Orange as having significant market power (SMP) in the market for wholesale voice call termination on individual mobile networks and imposed remedies on them, including price control. According to this obligation, mobile termination rates (MTRs) are set by UKE on a yearly basis, based on the (actual) costs incurred by the operators. In 2008 UKE identified another MNO, P4, as having SMP and imposed regulatory obligations on it, i.e. access, non-discrimination, transparency and non-excessive pricing. In October 2009 the Polish regulator notified to the Commission its draft decision proposing a glide path for P4 towards symmetric rates, to be reached as from 1 January 2014. The Commission invited UKE to revise its price control methodology and the margin allowed for P4 and to set a new glide path which would result in lower MTRs for P4, taking into account the need for it to become efficient over time.
CenterNet, Mobyland and Cyfrowy Polsat have started their commercial activities in the mobile market very recently while Sferia has not yet started its activities in this market. All of these four operators are building their own infrastructure and provide (or plan to provide in the near future) retail services based on commercial agreements for national roaming with one of the incumbent MNOs. The UKE decided to impose MTRs so that new entrants may adopt higher prices instead of the pre-existing undertakings in the market, which should comply with cost-oriented prices. More specifically the four new Polish entrants (CenterNet, Cyfrowy Polsat, Mobyland and Sferia) have a price control obligation not to charge excessive prices. On 6 January 2011, the European Commission issued its standpoint in which it urged UKE to reconsider its approach. It is not the first time the Commission has criticised UKE for its actions regarding termination rates on mobile networks. The Commission advised UKE to assess the level and duration over which new entrants should be able to charge termination rates above those of more established operators. The Commission recommends four years as a reasonable period of time. After this transitional period, the MTRs of all operators should be symmetric and oriented towards the costs of an efficient operator in line with the Termination Rates Recommendation. The Commission urged UKE to impose a cost orientation obligation (cost-based prices) on the new entrants and invited UKE to carefully assess the level and duration of asymmetry of MTRs of the new operators in its forthcoming decisions. As stated in the Termination Rates Recommendation, MTRs of new entrants may be subject to a higher unit cost for a transitional period before reaching the minimum efficient scale.