Feeds

EU rules against Voda / 02 Irish duopoly

Let a thousand MVNOs bloom

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Mobile virtual network operators look set to become a reality in Ireland as the European Commission rules in favour of ComReg's review of the mobile market.

ComReg said on Friday, 21 January that it had received notification from the European Commission saying that it agrees with the regulator's assessment of the Irish market and the "joint dominance" held by Vodafone and O2. ComReg has welcomed the Commission's ruling and said it will proceed with its measures to make the Irish mobile market more competitive.

Such measures are expected to include rules that will force O2 and Vodafone to allow other mobile operators - so-called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) - to piggyback on O2 and Vodafone's networks. Virtual operators are common elsewhere in Europe, with the UK's Virgin Mobile and often-cited example.

In December 2004 ComReg approached the Commission about the Irish mobile market. The regulator's review of the market concluded that Vodafone and O2 should opened up their networks to MVNOs to increase competition. Both Vodafone and O2, which together control around 94 per cent of the Irish market, reacted angrily to ComReg's suggestions and vowed to challenge the decision in the European courts.

In a strongly-worded statement Vodafone has expressed disappointment with the Commission's decision and has called on ComReg to revise its position on MVNOs, citing developments such as two new national roaming agreements, the recent improvement in Meteor's performance and the imminent entry of Hutchison-controlled 3 into Ireland, as examples of increased competition in the market.

In a statement, Gerry Fahy, strategy director at Vodafone Ireland, expressed disappointment that the European Commission has "not taken the opportunity to examine more closely ComReg's inadequate analysis and flawed conclusions".

If ComReg proceeds with its proposals, as it has said it will, Vodafone says it will be left with no choice but to appeal the decision to an Electronic Communications Appeals Panel. This could hold up the introduction of MVNOs in Ireland.

Tommy Broughan, the Labour spokesman for communications, who welcomed the Commission's decision; "It is about time the Irish mobile phone user started getting something back from companies who have been exploiting the heavy usage rates in this country."

This landmark decision by the Commission could open the floodgates in other European mobile markets where similar situations of collective dominance may exist. The regulators in the French market, for example, has long been pushing for more competition there where, only has three main players exist: France Telecom's Orange unit, Vivendi Universal's SFR unit and Bouygues Telecom. ®

© ENN

Related stories

Vodafone Ireland puts price tag on 3G
Vodafone Ireland admits multi-million overcharge

Eircom overcharges 31,500 customers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.