Mobile tariffs to fall following Oftel's intervention

Rival telco Global Crossing says that Oftel's decision to penalise BT Cellnet will result in cheaper mobile tariffs

Oftel's decision to penalise BT Cellnet for cross-subsidising its mobile phone service will lead to cheaper mobile prices according to rival telco Global Crossing.

The watchdog -- keen to be seen getting tough on the mobile market following a rebuke from the European Commission for failing to promote competition -- has found BT Cellnet guilty of cross subsidising its own service providers. This, Oftel claims, gives the mobile company unfair advantage over service providers which do not have their own networks. It recommends a reduction in the wholesale price BT Cellnet charges its competitors.

Head of regulatory affairs at Global Crossing Dougald Robinson welcomes Oftel's intervention and believes it will mean a better deal for consumers. "We welcome Oftel's diligence. The wholesale price has not come down as much as we would like but any move to drive it down has got to be good news for the consumer," he says. "It will enable further price cuts in the mobile market."

Robinson believes Oftel would do well to follow its own example and investigate other parts of BT's (quote: BT) business. "In regard to ADSL we are a long way from proving that there is no cross subsidy between BT's network provider and BTopenworld," he says.

Last week Demon Internet accused BT of charging BTopenworld preferential rates for ADSL services. BT denies this but the claim is currently being investigated by Oftel.

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