Vodafone and Orange unhappy with telecoms fee

14 Aug 2008

Vodafone Spain and Orange Espana have both announced that they will object to proposals by the Spanish regulator, Comision del Mercado de las Telecommunicaciones (CMT), that they must contribute to the nation’s universal service fund. The CMT released plans on 12 August stating that Vodafone and Orange must pay EUR31.4 million (USD ) and EUR20.2 million respectively; fixed line and mobile market leader Telefonica will pay EUR131.1 million, almost 72% of the fund’s three year bill. The objection has arisen because the direct beneficiary of the scheme is Telefonica, as the telco has the contract to provide universal services and until now has been the only operator to pay in to the fund. Vodafone and Orange contend that by contributing to the fund they will effectively be subsidising Telefonica services. A month long consultation will now take place, with Orange and Vodafone able to raise their objections during this period, but if the proposals are approved the cellcos would have a month to pay into the fund.