MVNO Europe

MVNO Europe

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MVNO Europe engages in constructive dialogue with Commissioner Gabriel on removing obstacles for MVNOs to compete

MVNO Europe engages in constructive dialogue with Commissioner Gabriel on removing obstacles for MVNOs to compete

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Uncategorized |

Gabriel CommBrussels – On Tuesday 29th of June, MVNO Europe members had the pleasure to meet with the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The association and the Commission had a constructive discussion on the future of the Digital Single Market and, more particularly, on how to overcome European barriers to the successful development of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and the wholesale roaming market.

Representatives from Cubic Telecom, Euro Information Telecom, Fastweb, Sky and Transatel attended the meeting to show the Commission the extent to which MVNOs are at the forefront of several market segments (i.e. IoT, 5G, mobile bundles and fixed, mobile, media, financial services integration) addressing consumers, businesses, and the public sector. European MVNOs represent +/- 10% of EU SIM cards, approach 25% of market shares in some EU Member States and have developed partnerships with major industrial players – including large car manufacturers.

However, available data shows that MVNOs still sometimes face access-to-the-network barriers, in particular in Germany, that fragilize their ability to innovate and create growth. As a result, the association called upon the Commission for EU policies allowing MVNOs to compete in all European telecom markets, and thereby enable consumers to obtain access to highly-developed technologies at fair prices. MVNO Europe believes that an appropriate legal, regulatory and political landscape is key to the full completion of the Digital Single Market.

More precisely, what MVNO Europe would like to see is a fair and balanced regulatory environment that ensures MVNOs are not withheld from 5G and IoT technological developments as well reduced wholesale roaming caps (set by EU Regulation 2017/920, which is subject to review in 2019) so that challenger operators can continue delivering competitive offers and high-quality services.

Jacques Bonifay, Chairman of MVNO Europe, expressed his “satisfaction to have the opportunity to discuss with Commissioner Gabriel about the successful developments of European IoT MVNOs worldwide as well as some of the concerning difficulties smaller players face in accessing certain European markets.

MVNO Europe thanks Commissioner Gabriel and her team for taking the time to consult with the representatives of MVNOs in Europe and remains available to provide the European Commission with expertise so as to make the European Union’s commitments in implementing a competitive and innovative digital single market a reality.

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Legislators should not lose sight of correcting discriminatory wholesale roaming charges despite progress on EECC

Legislators should not lose sight of correcting discriminatory wholesale roaming charges despite progress on EECC

Posted by on Feb 8, 2018 in Uncategorized |

Legislators make welcome progress on pro-competitive radio spectrum aspects of the draft European Electronic Communications Code, but high wholesale roaming charges are still hurting MVNOs and damaging competition for mobile services.

press release roaming photo

During the last trialogue meeting on the European Electronic Communications Code on 1 February 2018, the EU co-legislators made good progress by provisionally agreeing on a block of key provisions for radio spectrum and mobile telecommunications. MVNO Europe, the association of Mobile Virtual Network Operators, particularly welcomes the provisional agreement on Article 52, which confirms the promotion of competition as a guiding principle of radio spectrum assignment procedures.

However, European MVNOs and their ability to act as competitive challengers, are still very much hurt by extremely high wholesale roaming charges that have a strong discriminatory effect in the provision of roam-like-at-home (“RLAH”) services. For instance, a recent report by the French telecom regulator ARCEP[1] demonstrates that in France Mobile Network Operators where able to recover most of the losses incurred in implementing RLAH, because of the additional inbound roaming traffic that generated substantial extra revenues for them. MVNOs, by contrast, are not able to earn such revenues at all.

“When it comes to international roaming, MVNOs continue to be unjustifiably discriminated by EU Regulation on tariffs” said Innocenzo Genna, Vice-President of MVNO Europe. “MVNOs cannot offset any loss on outbound roaming traffic by relying on revenues from increased inbound roaming traffic, because of their virtual nature that impedes them to collect wholesale roaming revenues”. Thus: “MVNOs urge the European Commission to review as soon as possible the level of wholesale roaming charges contained in the EU regulation, and reduce them to put an end to this unfair discrimination, which harms competition and end-user interests, not only for consumers and business users of traditional mobile services, but also impedes the development of the Internet of Things” Genna continued.

MVNO Europe expects BEREC and National Regulatory Authorities to provide input to the European Commission during 2018, which should lead to a justifiably much lower level of wholesale roaming charges.

In addition, MVNO Europe expects EU Member States to duly implement the competition principle introduced in the upcoming European Electronic Communications Code by embedding an obligation to provide wholesale access to MVNOs in future spectrum licenses “Such an obligation would finally provide MVNOs with the necessary bargaining power when negotiating with network operators and, consequently, it would dramatically increase competitive conditions in mobile retail markets” said Federico Poggi from Fastweb and Vice-President of MVNO Europe.

 

[1] Les services de communications électroniques en France – 3ème trimestre 2017 – 11 January 2018

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ikchpmgxc9gp2zh/obs-marches-T3-2017-110118.pdf?dl=0

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MVNO Europe kicks off new year with election of experienced and revamped board

MVNO Europe kicks off new year with election of experienced and revamped board

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Uncategorized |

presidents

Brussels – MVNO Europe looks forward to the new and old challenges the new year will bring to us. To meet those challenges, a revamped board has been (re-)elected that combines the best elements of both old and new.

Jacques Bonifay (Transatel) and Innocenzo Genna (CoopVoce) have been re-elected as President and Vice-President respectively to provide hard earned experience and ensure continuity within the association, allowing it to build on the work done in the previous years. Federico Poggi (Fastweb) and Lukas Jankauskas (Teledema) have been elected as new Vice-Presidents, inducing an exciting new vibe in the association and expanding its representativeness throughout Europe. “The association will seek to expand even further to strengthen its unique position as unified voice of all European MVNOs”, says Lukas Jankauskas.

The year 2018 will be of major importance for MVNOs. The EECC (European Electronic Communications Code) will be finalized and its provisions are crucial for guaranteeing fair market access conditions for MVNOs. “Fair access conditions to all EU markets is the only way to ensure a competitive balance between all operators throughout the European Union, for the benefit of innovation and consumer welfare”, says Innocenzo Genna. “Even more so, it would provide (new) European players with the opportunity to become genuine world leaders, extending their business even beyond EU borders”, says Jacques Bonifay, “especially since more and more MVNOs are developing in the IoT (Internet of Things) space, which creates new business perspectives”. Federico Poggi concludes that “2018 will also be the year in which the first 5G global standards emerge, the first step towards concrete 5G developments. MVNO Europe will continue to stress the vital role that MVNOs will have in future 5G markets”.

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End of roaming: unexpected side effects for consumers, business users and operators?

End of roaming: unexpected side effects for consumers, business users and operators?

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Uncategorized |

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Brussels, June 2017 –  As of June 15, mobile users in Europe will in principle be able to “roam-like-at-home”, under the EU new rules which abolish mobile roaming surcharges across the Union. MVNO Europe has always strongly supported the policy objective of “roam-like-at-home”, and its members are looking forward to offering roaming free offers to their customers. Yet, there might be unexpected side effects for consumers, business users and operators as wholesale regulated roaming caps still remain too high and could lead to competitive unbalances on the markets. Unfortunately, in this context we will not be surprised to see a number of operators applying and qualifying for derogations.

After years of intense negotiations, on the 15th of June, “roam-like-at-home” (RLAH) will come into force across the European Union. MVNO Europe has always strongly supported this policy objective of the European Commission and as MVNO Chair, Jacques Bonifay indicated “MVNOs have always played a crucial role in the past to reduce roaming costs for consumers and enterprises. The principle of offering RLAH is in MVNOs’ DNA.” Our members are ready to offer roaming to their customers at national prices, and many have already launched attractive RLAH offers in their respective markets.

However, we believe that in order to ensure fair market conditions for all players, the end of roaming needed to be accompanied by a strong decrease of wholesale roaming caps so as to better reflect the actual cost of international roaming. “Reducing wholesale caps is a simple measure that works to enable all operators to compete” said J. Bonifay. Today, RLAH is implemented with wholesale caps that are still too high compared to national wholesale pricing for most players in national markets and could cause significant problems for some operators. MVNO Europe has repeatedly flagged this risk to the European Institutions.

In this context, MVNO Europe will not be surprised to see in the future a number of operators applying, and qualifying for a derogation to the application of “roam-like-at-home”, the so-called “sustainability mechanism”, or even see national prices rise in some markets.

Our Vice-President Innocenzo Genna indicated “MVNOs are ready to punctually launch the RLAH regime. However, as we pointed out during the legislative process, the entire mechanism, in particular the wholesale caps, must be strongly revised to eliminate competitive unbalances that, at the end, would be detrimental for the consumer in terms of tariffs, variety of offers and innovation”.

As an association, we call for the European Commission to conduct an in-depth analysis of the impact of the end of roaming surcharges on all market segments, including Internet of Things (IoT), ahead of the launch of the review of the wholesale roaming caps planned for December 2019 and ensure that the regulated caps reflect actual costs.

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Teledema joins MVNO Europe

Teledema joins MVNO Europe

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Uncategorized |

teledema&mvno

Brussels – We’re pleased to announce that Lithuania’s leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) has joined MVNO Europe. Teledema was founded in 2003 and unites people across Lithuania, who can enjoy exceptional attention and great network quality.

Lithuania’s small telecom market is among one of the most developed in Europe. Teledema’s success shows that guaranteeing MVNO access to the market is an appropriate way to maintain a strong level of competition while bringing more innovation on the market.

Driven by a sustainable business growth, Teledema has successfully established itself as the reference MVNO on the Lithuanian market by creating accessible and superior quality offers for users. Along with mobile network, they create SIP telephony solutions designed for business.

Jacques Bonifay, chairman of MVNO Europe, said: “I am delighted to welcome Teledema as new member. Having now a Baltic State on board reassert the willingness of MVNO Europe to be a strong voice for MVNOs and be fully representative of the European landscape”.

Innocenzo Genna, Vice-President, said: “Welcome to Teledema! We are looking forward to working together and pursue our common objective to create a more openly accessible market for all MVNOs.”

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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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