Converged fixed-mobile service blocked

30 Nov 2006

An Italian court has blocked Vodafone’s proposed launch of a converged fixed-mobile service, after Telecom Italia filed a suit claiming the offer represents ‘unfair competition’. Dow Jones reports that the court has stopped Vodafone from marketing the service, although Italy’s number two cellco had already concluded its first advertising campaign. The service, which allows Vodafone subscribers to answer calls to their fixed line phones on their cellular handsets free of charge, was due to be introduced at the start of next year. The court ruled that dominant wireline operator Telecom Italia has no obligation to ensure portability of its fixed numbers since portability between fixed and mobile networks is not covered under existing legislation. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Telecom Italia’s cellular unit TIM had 31.5 million subscribers at the end of September, while Vodafone Italia claimed 25.15 million.