ANACOM to cut the prices of calls to numbers starting with 707 and 708 by up to 48%

ANACOM will reduce the maximum retail prices of calls made to numbers starting with "707" and "708" by between 10% and 48%, depending on whether the calls are made from a fixed telephone or mobile telephone. These are numbers provided to contact companies or other organisations to obtain information or to make donations.

Where calls to these numbers are made from mobile telephones the price now set by ANACOM is 0.13 euros per minute (excluding VAT), reduced from the current price of 0.25 euros per minute ((excluding VAT) - this represents a reduction of 48%.

In the case of calls made from fixed telephones, the price is cut by 10% to 0.09 euros per minute (excluding VAT), from 0.10 euros (excluding VAT).

These reductions take into account the decreases in the wholesale prices for mobile calls seen over the last years and the need for consistent margins between the various types of call made to these number (fixed and mobile calls).

The new maximum retail prices will enable overall annual cost savings by end-users of at least 6 to 7 million euros. It should be noted that a maximum retail price does not prevent providers with "707" and "708" numbers from applying prices below the tariff caps set under ANACOM's decision, so that annual savings for end-users may be higher.

ANACOM's draft decision is now submitted to public consultation and the prior hearing procedure for a period of 30 working days.

ANACOM Recommendations on numbers to be used by consumers and end-users

Notwithstanding the promotion of reduced retail prices for calls made to numbers beginning with "707" and "708", ANACOM recommends that these numbering ranges, along with the "760", "761" and "762" ranges, should not be made available by suppliers of goods and service providers for the purpose of consumer contacts in the context of consumer legal relationships. This is because, despite the present reduction, the prices of calls to these numbers remain higher than prices of calls to numbers in the "808", "809" ranges or calls to geographic (2 ...), mobile (9 ...), or nomadic (30 ...) numbers. Accordingly, the contact numbers made available to consumers by suppliers of goods and service providers should be from these ranges with lower prices (or 800 numbers, which are free).

It is also noted that it is increasingly common for organisations and/or companies to provide various contact numbers in addition to non-geographic "707" and "708" numbers: i.e., geographic, mobile or nomadic numbers. In these circumstances, when making calls to these contacts, end-users have the option to use numbers with lower-priced calls, i.e., geographic, mobile or nomadic numbers. Furthermore, there are tariffs that include packages of minutes for these ranges, while calls to non-geographic numbers are not normally included and have to be paid for separately. It is also important that end-users consult the information that is made available by their electronic communications service providers on call charges to all numbering ranges, including non-geographic numbering ranges.

ANACOM also recommends that all organisations, companies and other economic undertakings providing "707" and "708" numbers for various contacts outside the scope of consumer legal relations, clearly publicise the prices of calls made to these numbers. The price should be displayed when giving out these numbers, so that end-users know immediately the prices they will pay.

ANACOM informed Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic) and the Government of these Recommendations and recommended that the law be amended accordingly.