Ovum warns regulators 'Get your hands off our mobiles or else'

Apart from roaming... you can mess with that...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Apart from roaming... you can mess with that...

Regulators have been warned that too much interference in the mobile industry could cost the UK in lost revenue and jobs. Analyst Ovum estimates that the mobile industry as whole adds E50bn to the British treasury, with over one million jobs in the UK depending on the industry for their existence – all of which could be threatened if mobile authorities try to regulate the industry more. David Rogerson, Ovum's consulting director, told a seminar he believes the mobile industry is doing a good job with self-regulation. "Regulation is unnecessary in most parts of the mobile market, where competition between network operators and independent service providers is sound", he said. "Indeed, [intervention] would contradict the principles contained in the new European regulatory framework: only intervene where there is a clear market failure, and act to the minimum extent necessary to correct for that failure." He warned that intervention could scare off the moneymen responsible for keeping the industry afloat. "The European mobile industry is healthy and a head-on collision with fragile investor confidence may have grave consequences on jobs and economic growth," he said. Regulatory tinkering could overspill into other arenas and hamper ADSL take-up and e-government roll-out, given that mobile could be one of the only viable ways to get such services to the public, said Rogerson. "All of this requires ongoing investment in mobile and this simply won't happen unless regulation is minimised", he said. The one area that Ovum says regulators should turn their attention to is roaming, recommending the authorities should look out for anti-competitive behaviour from the telco big boys who have enjoying the new, more flexible system for selecting a roaming operator.
Editorial standards