FT warns EC to rethink mobile roaming plans

20 Dec 2006

France Télécom (FT) has threatened to stop buying equipment from European vendors unless the European Commission (EC) rethinks its plans to tighten regulations on mobile roaming, writes ZDNet UK. In a scathing attack, FT chief executive Didier Lombard said the new proposals were akin to measures introduced under former Communist regimes in eastern Europe, and warned that his company might start placing orders with Asian firms, whose prices he added, are usually cheaper too. Lombard warned that as a result of such a move ‘the telecoms sector as a whole will suffer,’ hinting strongly at the probable impact on jobs in the European market. The FT supremo’s comments come in the wake of the EC’s announcement to slash the roaming fees paid by mobile users when abroad. Commissioner Viviane Reding is petitioning for cuts of up to 70% and only last week a meeting of national ministers approved large cuts in wholesale mobile roaming rates.

France, Orange Group