PSA proposes extension of regulatory requirements to all call connection services and strengthens requirements
The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) has opened a consultation on revised Special conditions for ICSS – third-party services that connect or signpost callers to popular helplines via a premium-rate number.
The proposals are intended to improve the information about these services that is given to consumers, both in search results and on service websites, to make it clearer that they are third parties and that calls via an ICSS may be more expensive than calling the desired number directly.
These proposals follow changes in January 2019 to extend the scope of Ofcom’s Premium Rate Service Condition to include all ICSS within the definition of controlled premium rate services. This extended PSA regulation to all ICSS irrespective of the number range they are operating on. This consultation proposes that the PSA’s Special conditions for ICSS should apply to all ICSS, regardless of number range.
The consultation is open until 10th June 2019. Respondents are advised to use the new PSA consultations response form, available from the PSA website.
The PSA have put forward proposals to clarify expectations on how long providers retain data, in the event of an investigation where such data will be required. The PSA are now consulting on Guidance which sets out new expectations for the retention of data relevant to their investigatory processes, and are calling for responses.
The full consultation details can be found here.
We would like to invite members to provide their feedback to aimm in order for us to prepare a response. This will be in the form of calls, or where appropriate, conference calls, over the next few weeks.
Please let the aimm Executive know if you would like to contribute by Wednesday 20th February.
Ofcom has today set the annual licence fees that mobile operators will pay for 900 and 1800 MHZ spectrum, from 31 January 2019.
The operators use these spectrum bands to provide mobile voice and data services, using a mix of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.
In June, Ofcom published a consultation on the proposed licence fees that should apply for these spectrum bands. Following consideration of the responses, they have concluded that the appropriate ALFs for these bands (expressed in April 2018 prices) are:
- 1.093m per MHz of 900 MHz spectrum; and
- £0.805m per MHz of 1800 MHz spectrum
Ofcom are also consulting on the level of annual licence fees that should apply for the 40 MHz of spectrum in the 3.4 GHz band, and 80 MHz in the 3.6 GHz band, that are licensed to UK Broadband, which is owned by Hutchison 3G UK Limited.
Ofcom have proposed that the fees for both 3.4 GHz and 3.6 GHz spectrum would be £0.358m per MHz. The consultation runs until 11 February 2019.
Today PSA are publishing their final statement on their DQ review which sets out two new special conditions on pricing transparency at onward call connection and IVR promotions on inactive geographic numbers. The statement and responses to the consultation can be found at this link. Their notice can be found here.
HM Treasury have issued their consultation for PSD2 implementation into UK law and most of the representations that we have made to them on behalf of Network Operators and their Intermediaries since January 2016 are reflected in the consultation questions. See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/implementation-of-the-revised-eu-payment-services-directive-psdii
AIME are running two workshops for this next week in London.
The workshop with network operator members is to walk through the impact of the proposed regulation on network operators and to discuss our response to their consultation. Networks affected will be those companies who are providing a payment service to their customers as part of a suite of services that includes telecoms. A payment services is simplistically defined as taking a payment from a network customer for a service supplied by a merchant who is not the network.
The purpose of the workshop is to advise what our response will be to Treasury, to summarise our discussion with FCA and to ensure if any individual responses are being made that we align views to steer government as much as possible to reduce or eliminate the cost to the Telecoms industry of this updated financial regulation.
The Network Operator workshop is on 21st February at PSA’s premises, commencing at 14:30 to 16:30 and will also include MobileUK and PSA representatives.
The Intermediaries workshop is on the 22nd February 10.00 – 12.00 at the same location. The workshop will then be used to formulate AIME’s response on behalf of membership and guide members in their responses to Treasury if they so wish. The workshops will focus on the potential impact on Fixed Line and Mobile Operators and the potential impact on Intermediaries.
AIME will issue a discussion paper and draft Treasury response ahead of the meeting.
Please let Andrea know if you are able to attend the workshops and which one you would like to attend. Spaces to both of these workshops are limited to 20 and we kindly request that no more than 2 representatives from each member company attend to allow space for everyone.