Ofcom considering state of UK mobile market

29 Aug 2008

In a statement released this week, Britain’s telecoms watchdog Ofcom has announced that it is to launch a consultation with consumers and leading mobile operators to assess mobile market conditions in the UK. The regulator has indicated it feels the market needs less regulation and more competition, claiming proper access, choice and value for money were becoming more important as mobile increasingly replaces landline and fixed broadband services. ‘With significant market and technology developments under way, now is the right time to ask some tough questions about the future approach to regulation,’ Ofcom’s Chief Executive Ed Richards said in a statement. One particular issue that has been highlighted is that of mobile termination rates; the current scheme of reducing these charges is due to end in 2011. It is also understood that proposals for mobile subscribers to pay to receive calls, as they do in the US, are being deliberated, with Ofcom calling for ‘careful consideration’ of the case for billing mobile users for receiving as well as making calls. The regulator claims it has raised the issue in hope of provoking debate over the charges that mobile operators impose on one another for connecting calls to their networks.

United Kingdom