France pressures Skype to register as operator

Skype is being pressured to register as a communications operator

French communications regulator ARCEP was gunning for internet telephony player Skype this week, which it suggests is committing a criminal offence by not declaring itself as a communications operator.

Telenor cuts its losses in Mumbai

Telenor did not bid for spectrum in Mumbai in the November 2012 when the 2G licences were reauctioned

Norwegian operator group Telenor will cease operating in Mumbai, after being told by India’s Supreme Court to shut down its operations in the city. The operator’s Indian subsidiary, Uninor, will lose around 1.84 million customers as a result.

Ovum finds disparity in regulation environments

Red tape is hindering the telecoms sector in some countries more than others

Competition and investment in the global telecoms industry is being held back by inconsistent regulatory frameworks, according to research firm Ovum. The firm assessed and ranked the regulatory performance of 11 countries across three geographic areas in the second iteration of its annual Regulatory Scorecard.

Ofcom moves to block mid-contract price hikes in UK

Consumers complained that they were not warned about possible price rises

UK regulator Ofcom has launched a consultation into methods of protecting consumers from mid-contract price increases for fixed, broadband and mobile services. The consultation comes on the heels of a review in which Ofcom studied more than 1,600 consumer complaints in a six-month period about changes in tariffs for what consumers believed were fixed-price contracts.

Lay your bets


Bengt Nordstrom, founder of industry consultancy NorthStream, shares a series of predictions for the mobile industry in 2013. In this second instalment he suggests that European regulators will become more open to consolidation among operators, helping to revitalise the European market.

Local manufacture essential to Brazil, says Minister

Paolo Bernado

The Brazilian government will continue to require that a significant portion of telecoms network equipment is manufactured locally as it seeks to harness the sector’s growth to create jobs and local wealth, according to the country’s minister for communications.

Roaming regulation in Asia: A brewing tsunami or storm in a tea cup?

In a recent interview request I was asked to comment on the demand from Indonesian Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring to remove roaming fees between ASEAN countries.

The focus was on two questions: Do you think it would be possible for Asean to become a free roaming region? And if so Why? And what steps need to be taken for Asean’s telcos to agree to a no roaming fee agreement?

A digital desert? The impact of regulation on Europe’s telecoms sector


Ben Verwaayen is not prone to making headline-grabbing comments. He is a seasoned industry campaigner but not really the type of industry leader to obsess about developing a strong public profile. But when, at a shareholders meeting earlier this month, the Alcatel Lucent CEO was asked about some of the factors behind the company’s slide back into the red, Vervaayen referred specifically to the status of telecoms regulation in Europe and the pursuit of policies which risked creating a “digital desert”.

Western European roaming to be hit hard by roaming regulation

European operators will face a challenging time ahead as Western Europe is overwhelmed by strict EU regulations, with the price of voice calls falling by 46 per cent and data roaming services cut from average costs of around $4 to just $0.26 by 2014.

Everything Everywhere rues impact of MTR cuts

Everything Everywhere says that service revenues would have grown were it not for the impact of MTR cuts in the UK

Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, has posted a drop in service revenue of 2.5 per cent to reach £1.5bn in its first quarter earnings statement.

Apple and Google could emerge as European MVNOs on the back of new roaming regulations


The thought of Apple becoming an MVNO and offering its customers IP voice and messaging services as a cheap alternative to conventional voice and SMS is one that keeps many mobile operator CEOs awake at night. It is not just the loss of voice and SMS revenues that alarms operators. It is the risk that the operator would lose so much of its retail business. Network operators would become invisible to many of their (previous) customers.

China Mobile exec given death sentence for bribery

Zhang admitted taking more than $1m in bribes over 15 years

A former deputy general manager at China Mobile has been sentenced to death by the Chinese state, having been found guilty of corruption. Zhang Chunjiang, who was detained late in 2009, confessed to having accepted US$1.16m in bribes between 1994 and 2009.

Verizon to appeal data roaming requirement

ZTE has responded to Ericsson's legal action with one of its own

Verizon Wireless is suing US telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a bid to have it overturn a decision forcing larger operators to share their data networks with smaller players. Verizon claims that the decision represents an “arbitrary, capricious abuse of discretion”.

Sweden to auction 800MHz spectrum in February 2011

the auction will begin on February 28th, 2011

The Swedish telecoms regulator, PTS, has set a date for the auction of wireless broadband spectrum in the 800GHz band, making the announcement on the eve of the first anniversary of the commercial introduction of LTE. The auction will begin on February 28th 2011, with interested parties required to apply for participation by the end of January. Nordic carrier TeliaSonera launched the world’s first LTE service in Stockholm and Oslo on December 14th last year.

Afghanistan to push for next generation wireless in 2011

Afghan Wireless said it believes there are significant opportunities in the rural parts of the country

The Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) is currently in talks with the country’s four mobile carriers to gather opinion on the allocation of spectrum for next generation services. It is not yet certain whether the regulator will simply allocate spectrum to the operators or whether an auction will take place, however the aim is to have commercial 3G services in Afghanistan by the end of 2011.

Operators lose battle against roaming price caps

Operators lose battle against roaming price caps

Four of Europe’s largest mobile operators – Vodafone, Telefónica O2, T-Mobile and Orange – lost their battle with European authorities on Tuesday, after the European Court of Justice ruled that roaming caps can stick.

France Telecom gains approval for Egyptian purchase

Regulatory approval allows France Telecom to consolidate its position in Egypt

Egypt’s financial regulator has granted approval for the purchase of the stake it doesn’t already own in the country’s leading carrier Mobinil by France Telecom’s Orange. For some time the deal has been the subject of a spat between France Telecom and Mobinil’s other principal shareholder, Egyptian player Orascom Telecom.

EU data roaming regulations and the rise of personalised user policies

EU data roaming regulations and the rise of personalised user policies

On July 1 2009, European Union mobile roaming tariffs regulation came into force cutting retail voice, retail SMS and wholesale data charges across the EU. With the European Commission identifying data roaming charges as a principal cause of bill shock, it is also forcing operators to put strong anti-bill shock measures in place.

Roaming caps can stick, says key European legal advisor

European mobile roaming caps are legal, says expert

Europe’s mobile operators saw their arguments against the implementation of roaming price caps subjugated on Thursday, after a key legal advisor to the European Court of Justice green lighted the proposals.

EU telcos say soft regulation will offset credit crunch

Europe’s leading telecoms operators have called for a softening of regulation across the sector, to encourage investment in next generation infrastructure in the face of the credit crunch. On Friday, some of the carrier community’s leading lights gathered in Venice for the annual general assembly of ETNO (the European Telecommunications Networks Operators’ association). In the [...]