The Mobile Cartel

Posted by Voipfone on May 1, 2015

The Mobile CartelDuring April, the UK telecoms industry was trying to get its collective head around the proposed acquisition of Everything Everywhere by BT and the proposed merger of O2 with Three – hereinafter referred to as O3.

We’ve (ITSPA) been asked to formally put our position forward to the Competition and Markets Authority. (What was wrong with the Monopolies and Mergers Commission?) It’s a complex problem that can be reduced to a couple of fairly simple concepts.

The reduction of four mobile companies into three is a straightforward reduction in competition.

For which there needs to be a remedy.

BT’s acquisition of EE gives them the much-envied quad-play (not four-play as I called it and was misunderstood) – TV, Telephony, Broadband and Mobile. It means that they will become a mega telco with massive market power and the ability to bundle all services into attractive packages, maybe cross-subsidising in the process.

For which there needs to be a remedy.

And the remedy to my mind is quite simple – we i.e. Voipfone and its competitors need wholesale access to the mobile market with access to mobile number ranges and good porting ability so that customers have an real choice and we get some innovation back into a nearly defunct sector.

Now how hard can that be?

If you agree with me, tell Ofcom. Please.

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