Oftel Eliminates Regulation

As competition is so healthy, the UK's Office of Telecommunications decides to remove the last remaining regulation specifically on mobile services

October 3, 2003

2 Min Read

LONDON -- Oftel today announced that sectoral regulation is no longer needed to promote competition in the market for making calls from mobile phones.

Consumers have got an increasingly better deal, and none of the five mobile network operators has significant market power in this market. Oftel has therefore decided to removed the last remaining sector specific regulation to promote competition in the market.

The current restrictions on Vodafone and O2 to provide interconnection services will be removed by Oftel. This will give the two companies greater flexibility to negotiate agreements with other telecoms companies that want access to Vodafone's or O2's networks in order to offer mobile services to retail customers.

This is the first market review to be completed by any of the national telecoms regulators under the new EU Communications Directives.

David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications said today:

"Consumers have benefited from an increasingly competitive mobile market, reflected in falling prices over recent years, an increasing range of tariffs and more big-name suppliers.

"The UK has Europe's third largest mobile market, and has grown to 50 million subscribers. New services continue to be introduced, such as picture messaging and video calls.

"Because none of the five mobile networks has significant market power in the outgoing mobile market Oftel will withdraw the remaining sectoral regulation that places certain restrictions on Vodafone and O2. This is the last step in the withdrawal of regulation by Oftel over recent years, as competition has increased.

"Operators will have greater freedom and flexibility to offer competitive terms when negotiating with other telecoms companies.

"This is the first of Oftel's market reviews to finish, and represents a milestone by being the first one to be concluded by any EU telecoms regulator under the new EU legislation.

"It is a major landmark that sectoral regulation is no longer needed in this market to support competition. Oftel will now use general competition law powers to tackle any anti-competitive behaviour."

Office of Telecommunications (Oftel)

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