Monday, 1 February 2016

Dear Ofcom


The claim:

We are analysing mobile prices over recent years in 25 countries. Our findings show that average prices are around 10-20 per cent lower in markets with four operators and a disruptive player than in those with only three established networks. Austria’s regulator says that, since the deal there, overall mobile prices have climbed 15 per cent and by 30 per cent for customers who only make calls and send texts.

The reality:


The worst thing here, for me, is the use of 'Austria's regulator'. Using the, at best, debatable comments of another regulator to justify a position and presenting them as fact. PR was apparently more important than an accurate case. And we can be forgiven for wondering why we don't have the kind of FTTP and 4G networks that others do, and why 3 of the biggest telecomms companies in the world, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Telefonica have either sold their UK mobile company or want to.

A regulator that genuinely cares about quality rather than just retail pricing would be one of the biggest steps towards improving connectivity in the UK, both fixed and wireless. Wide spread challenger FTTP networks are conspicuous by their absence in the UK, Ofcom's policies are at very least one of the major reasons.

ISPReview feature a great comment from NTT Data on Ofcom's position regarding the acquisition of O2 by Three.

NTT Data is, incidentally, the IT services arm of NTT: the Japanese telco that underwent structural separation when its retail and mobile businesses were separated from the rest of the group.

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