Feeds

Mobile operators slam Oftel's price cut plans

Winged watchdog mulls responses

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Vodafone, One2One and Orange have slammed new mobile call price controls proposed by Oftel.

In written responses posted on the winged watchdog's Web site, all four mobile operators are unhappy with plans to cut mobile calls by RPI -12 per cent i.e. if inflation (as measured by the Retail Price Index) goes up by five per cent, then prices will have to go down by 7 per cent.

The price plans were announced by Oftel on 26 September this year and the deadline for consultation is this Monday (26 November). From there it will consider all the responses and put out a final decision. If the mobile companies refuse to go along with it, they can take the case to the Competition Commission.

Vodafone, in a one-page letter, is the most damning of the operators. "We hereby object to the adoption of the proposed modifications. Please treat this letter as comprising our formal objecting to the proposed licence modifications," it reads.

One2One goes for a different approach - a huge 31-page document with executive summary and lots of tests, models, definitions and even flow charts. Distilled down, it calls Oftel's plans "flawed, inconsistent and incomplete".

Orange and BT Cellnet (now mmO2) chose to make their responses confidential, but Oftel summarised them thus: "Orange: Orange has not consented to the proposed licence modifications and is still considering whether or not to make a formal objection; BT Cellnet: At this stage of the consultation BT Cellnet has neither consented to nor objected to the proposed licence modifications."

Orange told us that it made its response confidential "in order to give Oftel room to manoeuvre". However it has put out a press release saying "Orange believes that such price controls are not to the long term benefit of the customer and urges Oftel to reconsider its position." BT Cellnet has told us it is "keeping our options open".

Oftel was in an ebuillent mood when it made the price plans public. It actively criticised BT Cellnet and Vodafone for charges prices that are "on average at levels higher than would be seen in a truly competitive marketplace". It also decided to extend the price controls for the first time to Orange and One2One.

It is difficult to know what will happen from here. Oftel has been criticised in the past for caving in to companies' complaints - particularly BT, but has recently taken a harder line following criticism by the government.

Whatever happens, we are only likely to see the end result. A Vodafone spokesman told us: "Once the consultation is over, we will not be rehearsing our arguments in public." ®

Related Links

The index of responses to Oftel's price plans

Related Stories

Oftel strengthens mobile price controls
Oftel tries to look brave criticising mobile companies
Telcos welcome Oftel's heavy hand
MPs give Oftel a boot up the backside
Oftel ducks making broadband mandatory

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.