Competition watchdog favours cuts to wholesale SMS costs and access for MVNOs

14 Mar 2006

The French competition commission is backing the country’s telecom regulator Arcep over plans to intervene in lowering the wholesale cost of text messaging, and to give MVNOs access to the networks of the country’s three mobile operators, France Télécom’s Orange, Vivendi’s SFR and Bouygues Télécom. Arcep asked the competition to review the matter at the start of the year following widespread customer complaints about high prices. The regulator will now be able to impose lower prices on the wholesale market, although there are no guarantees that savings will be passed on to consumers. The commission also recommended that additional powers may be needed to strengthen competition in the sector, such as giving MVNOs access to the three major operators’ networks.

France, Bouygues Telecom, Orange France, SFR