Feeds

Vodafone, Orange seeks judicial review over phone charges

O2 delays 3G roll-out

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Vodafone UK is to seek a judicial review following the Competition Commission's ruling that mobile phone companies are overcharging consumers for making phone calls.

Vodafone - the UK's largest operator - "strongly disagrees with the outcome of the Competition Commission report" and believes the conclusions are "fundamentally flawed".

It maintains that the price cuts announced today will mean that the UK's 49 million mobile phone users will end up paying more.

In a statement Gavin Darby, chief exec of Vodafone UK, said: "We think it is wrong that our customers will be forced to pay more as a result of this report.

"The UK is one of the most competitive markets in Europe. Mobile phone bills have reduced by 70 per cent in the past five years which has been driven by intense competition, with four strong players and a fifth entrant due this year - this is harsher regulation on top of increased competition.

"We believe that the report is fundamentally flawed and, as a result, will be seeking a Judicial Review to protect the interests of our customers."

Orange say it too is considering a judicial review, to ensure that the Commission's report does not "unfairly penalise mobile customers".

In a statement, Orange said: "Orange notes that the Competition Commission confirms that the mobile industry overall is highly competitive, has created substantial benefit for customers and for the UK economy, is not yet earning an adequate return on capital, and faces considerable future investment in networks and services.

"Orange asks, therefore, why the Commission believes intervention is needed at all, especially when the result will be to the detriment of mobile customers?" it said.

It adds that the ruling ignores the industry's £24 billion investment in 3G licences. This is a point picked up by O2, which has indicated that it will abide by the ruling.

However, O2 maintains that in accepting the ruling it will "implement a range of actions aiming to recover lost revenue, and protect operating margins and cash flow yield".

Or to put it another way, it now intends to delay the planned launch of commercial 3G services until the second half of 2004. It will also postpone planned reductions in some of its tariffs and look to reduce its subsidy of handsets.

It will also "further intensify the pursuit of operational efficiencies" which could raise the spectre of job cuts. ®

Related Story

Oftel orders cut in mobile phone charges

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?