Oftel submits proposed new mobile regulations to the EC

19 Dec 2003

Dave Edmonds, director general of UK telecoms regulator Oftel, today notified the European Commission (EC) of his proposals to promote competition in the cellular market and reduce the cost of making calls to mobile networks. Earlier this year Oftel published a consultation document reviewing the ‘fixed-to-mobile’ market as part of its drive to implement the EC’s new directives on electronic communications services. Having studied feedback from the UK’s mobile and fixed line operators as well as a number of consumer groups, the following proposals were submitted:

1. Consumers should be protected from excessive call termination charges through a continuation of controls to reduce the amount mobile operators can charge to connect calls to their networks

2. Competition between operators should be promoted by ensuring equal access and no undue discrimination against other operators for terminating calls onto mobile networks

3. The country’s third-generation (3G) mobile market should be immune from excessive regulation in its formative stages

The EC has seven weeks to comment on Oftel’s proposals, during which time the UK industry and consumer groups will have further opportunities to provide input. Any final decision on the new regulations will be made by Ofcom, the UK’s new ‘super regulator’ which on 29 December this year will inherit the duties of Oftel, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency.

United Kingdom