European telcos squeal: should we care?

One of the ongoing discussions among the Irregulars centers around telecommunications costs. Many of us travel internationally and bemoan the astronomical (sic) charges we're forced to pay by telecoms operators.

One of the ongoing discussions among the Irregulars centers around telecommunications costs. Many of us travel internationally and bemoan the astronomical (sic) charges we're forced to pay by telecoms operators.

Earlier today, I saw a statement from the GSMA, a global trade group  for the industry arguing that attempts to cap SMS costs in Europe fails to take notice of local conditions. From the press release and quoting Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer at the GSMA:

“The Commission’s proposals to single out yet another aspect of the mobile industry and apply retail price regulation, threatens to choke growth and stifle competition...The Commission’s fixation with regulating common mobile prices across the EU is widespread. Different markets have inherently different costs, whether from variations in tax or, for example labour rates. These services should be priced based on local market conditions, not on some vision of a single Europe, originating in Brussels."

Back in May, Vinnie Mirchandani a regular telco critic and Irregular quoted from an analysis conducted by a space scientist at the University of Leicester which concluded that in the UK, SMS messaging are:

4.4 times more expensive than the ‘most pessimistic’ estimate for Hubble Space Telescope transmission costs.

..to full paying consumers. Vinnie added:

I cannot wait to see his analysis comparing mobile roaming charges to even further transmissions from NASA's Mars explorer, Spirit.

No-one I know believes in heavy regulation but there are times when regulation can come to our aid. In the meantime, I leave it to readers to decide whether GSMA has much to moan about. But as a clue, Vodafone's annual revenues were last reported at £35.5 ($69) billion with adjusted income at £10.1 ($19.7) billion.