Telecoms is a utility- access to infrastructure has to drive competition

The FCS is calling upon Ofcom to conduct a mobile market review to consider in the round changes in the market structure and to draw together the separate strands of work currently under individual consultation.

In its recent responses to UK Government on Digital Britain and to Ofcom on the mobile market, FCS has welcomed the clarification that telecommunications- delivered by fixed or wireless- is a utility. Furthermore implementation of the Digital Britain project is to include new duties on Ofcom to promote efficient investment in infrastructure

Jacqui Brookes, FCS CEO, commented, “With the recent announcement of the proposed Orange and T-Mobile merger, the mobile market landscape enters a new dimension clearly demonstrating the limitation of network competition in the UK”.

Central to the FCS responses is the call for fair and open access to networks, which FCS argues is essential to drive competition and innovation in retail services.

The FCS reports that there are still problems for mobile new entrants and limitations on network access by competing Communications Providers and resellers. This amounts to a call to the regulator to construct a mobile market review now, drawing together the series of parallel reviews of aspects of the mobile market into a single comprehensive overview. The review can also look closely at where convergence of fixed, mobile and broadband services leads to a requirement for common consumer policies for migrations, number portability and call price transparency managed by the industry in a co-regulatory manner.

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