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Agreement on roaming wholesale caps: impact on competition and European end-users?

Agreement on roaming wholesale caps: impact on competition and European end-users?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Brussels, 1 February 2017 – Yesterday evening, an agreement was reached between EU lawmakers and Member States on the level of caps for the wholesale roaming charges mobile network operators pay each other when their customers call, send texts or use their data in another EU member State. For wholesale roaming caps, a glide path has been set starting at 7,7€/GB in 2017 going down to 6€/GB in 2018 and 2,5€/GB in 2022. We would like to highlight to great work achieved by the European Parliament Rapporteur Miapetra Kumpula-Natri and Shadow Rapporteurs on the file who have been fighting for low caps in order to preserve competition.

However, despite repeated calls to go lower from the European Parliament, data caps are set at a level which is still too high. This will not only strongly affect competition but lead to higher overall prices for Europeans.

Today in European countries, retail data offers already are at 1 or 2 €/GB. As smaller operators and MVNOs pay wholesale access at the level of EU regulated caps, there is a high risk for these operators not being able to recover their costs. This will have a direct effect on customers: the higher the wholesale caps are, the fewer there will be “Roam-like-at-home” offers for consumers on the market  using prepaid offers or unlimited bundles by virtue of art. 4.2. and 4.3. of the Fair Usage Regulation adopted last year in December.

MVNO Europe Vice-President, Innocenzo Genna stated that “European citizens expect the end of the roaming surcharges to happen without losing competitive tariffs and innovative offers: by contrast, with the present deal on wholesale caps, they will be heavily disappointed”.

With excessive wholesale roaming charges, dominant mobile operators will be the only ones to drive the market, adding barriers for smaller players. MVNOs, being the first-movers in offering innovative services, are therefore crucial for competition adding real value on the telecoms market and to end-users.

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EU roaming regulatory framework at critical crossroads

EU roaming regulatory framework at critical crossroads

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

This week has been critical for the future of the telecommunications market in Europe. While the European Parliament’s Industry Committee adopted a pro-competitive and forward-looking position on wholesale international mobile roaming on 29 Nov 2016, ministers from the EU Member States adopted a text on 2 Dec 2016 which would allow mobile network operators to apply extremely high wholesale international roaming charges. Parliament focused on the interests of end-users, innovation and competition. Ministers chose to protect large mobile operators. The European Parliament and Council (representing Member States) will now enter, with the support of the European Commission, into protracted so-called trilogue negotiations from very different starting positions.

2 December 2016 – On 29 November, the European Parliament’s Industry Committee adopted its position on the European Commission’s legislative proposal amending Regulation 531/2012. Members of the Industry Committee voted the report of Finnish MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri by a very large majority. By putting forward wholesale mobile roaming caps for data at 4€/GB in 2017 and by adopting a “glide path” approach with reductions to 1€/GB, they acknowledged current market reality and foreseeable cost reductions in providing mobile data services in Europe.

Ministers gathered in the Telecoms Council on 2 December adopted a ‘general approach’, which entails wholesale roaming caps for data at 10€/GB in 2017, with reductions over time reaching 5€/GB.

In the context enabling the abolition of retail roaming surcharges on 15 June 2017, as per Regulation 2015/2120 it is important that retail and wholesale measures are connected. This is necessary to enable all operators to compete on the market by lowering the currently regulated wholesale caps. Today’s Council text foresees that these caps for voice, SMS and data, are kept at a higher level than the ones originally proposed by the European Commission and thus much higher than already existing retail offers on the market. This would force smaller operators and MVNOs that are not able to negotiate wholesale roaming access at lower prices to offer roaming services to their consumers with negative margins. Such a situation will lead to their potential eviction from the market and favour large operators that can trade within their own groups for better wholesale deals, reducing competition from challengers, and foreclosing the market for new entrants to the market.

MVNO Europe welcomes, however, the joint declaration made by the “digital like-minded” group of Member States calling for lower wholesale roaming caps. We urge the Council to adopt a flexible approach when negotiating with the European Parliament, to ensure that the EU regulated caps are lowered, reflecting the actual cost of providing wholesale mobile roaming access.

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Open letter to President Juncker for a forward-looking and sustainable Roam-Like-At-Home

Open letter to President Juncker for a forward-looking and sustainable Roam-Like-At-Home

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

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MVNO Europe has sent a letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, copied to Vice President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, following the announcement of a “New approach” on roaming.

Adopting a forward-looking vision, MVNO Europe has continuously stated its support for roam-like-at-home since the discussions to abolish EU retail roaming fees started in 2013, provided the conditions are met for all players to be able to compete on the market.

Following the Commission’s recent proposals  which includes the implementation of a year-round “fair use policy”, we are compelled to express our serious concerns relating to the potential consequences of the measures announced.

We are pointing out, in particular, that a corresponding ambitious revision of the wholesale roaming market needs to be carried out, including sufficient review clauses, as to avoid “margin squeeze” situations now and in the future for those alternative operators offering the most generous bundles and advanced service innovations to consumers and businesses. We welcome the acknowledgement of this intrinsic connection by Parliament’s rapporteur Miapetra Kumpula-Natri and call for sustainable roaming rules at EU level.

Our core message is supported by the “Roaming Coalition”, bringing together competitive operators around Europe accounting for more than 80 million SIM cards.

The letter is available here.

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MVNO Europe expands reach with addition of IoT leader Sierra Wireless

MVNO Europe expands reach with addition of IoT leader Sierra Wireless

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Brussels – MVNO Europe grows with the addition of Sierra Wireless, a leading provider of IoT solutions. In addition to the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of 2G, 3G and 4G embedded modules and gateways, the company offers a wide array of smart services to connect IOT devices. 

SierraWireless

Sierra Wireless’ key business proposition is to deliver an integrated and trusted device-to-cloud experience. The Sierra Wireless Smart SIM and Connectivity Service is at the heart of this offer, by delivering multi-operators coverage, superior data service quality and resilience to outages for global, regional or local applications. The Smart SIM holds multiple operator agreements on a single card, meaning it is able to provide access to more MNO networks than any single roaming SIM.

Sierra Wireless takes advantage of the flexibility and agility of the full-MVNO business model, building on its M2M technologies expertise to offer seamless network connectivity in the IoT age.

Jacques Bonifay, chairman of MVNO Europe, said: “The Internet of Things has become a highly strategic segment for us: agile players like MVNOs drive innovation in this field, more than any others. We’re delighted to welcome a leading player in the IoT in our association, as debate at EU level is speeding up.”


About MVNO Europe

MVNO Europe (previously European Association of Full-MVNOs) was created in 2012 to represent the interests of companies which are active on European mobile markets and are independent from established mobile network operators. Members includes Cubic Telecom, Cyta Hellas, Euro Information Telecom, Fastweb, Liberty Global, PosteMobile, Sierra Wireless, Sky, Transatel, Ventocom and Voiceworks.  Further information about the association is available on http://www.mvnoeurope.eu  or at +32 (0) 2 550 41 10 / info@mvnoeurope.eu

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MVNO Europe welcomes Sky as a new member

MVNO Europe welcomes Sky as a new member

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Brussels – Europe’s leading entertainment company has joined MVNO Europe as it prepares to enter the UK mobile market. We’re excited to support Sky in its efforts to offer its customers an innovative new mobile offer, including as part of an exciting new bundle.SkySky will build on its success as one of the UK’s fastest-growing home communications businesses. The addition of mobile will allow Sky to provide a full range of media and connectivity services to its customers.

Sky is already a renowned brand on mobile devices, having developed Europe’s leading mobile TV service in Sky Go. Sky Go lets millions of users across Europe watch a huge array of live and on demand content across multiple devices.

Under a deal with Telefonica, Sky will become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and offer mobile as part of its bundles of TV, home phone and broadband services.

Jacques Bonifay, chairman of MVNO Europe, said: “Sky’s already impressive offer to customers will be well served by the adoption of the MVNO business model. We’re looking forward working together for a pro-competitive, forward-looking regulatory framework in Europe”.


About MVNO Europe

MVNO Europe (previously European Association of Full-MVNOs) was created in 2012 to represent the interests of companies which are active on European mobile markets and are independent from established mobile network operators. Members includes Cubic Telecom, Cyta Hellas, Euro Information Telecom, Fastweb, Liberty Global, PosteMobile, Sierra Wireless, Sky, Transatel, Ventocom and Voiceworks.  Further information about the association is available on http://www.mvnoeurope.eu  or at +32 (0) 2 550 41 10 / info@mvnoeurope.eu

 

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