Calls for single European telecoms regulator

14 August 2013 | Kavit Majithia


European telecoms competition authority has reportedly called for all 28 national regulators in the continent to be replaced by a single pan-European watchdog.

The call has come from the EU antitrust commissioner Joaquín Almunia, who has been outspoken in his criticism regarding Neelie Kroes’ proposals to create a single European telecoms market, which he claims is too unambitious.

It is thought the creation of a single telecoms market in Europe will enable the 28 members in the bloc with easy to access across the continent to obtain spectrum for mobile services and reduce costs abroad.

The industry in Europe has been hit hard by lower revenues and a cut in spending by the major operators, with Kroes hoping her new proposals will add more confidence in the sector for investment in new technology and faster networks.

A single telecoms market will reportedly add an addition €110 billion in annual GDP, and Almunia’s office has outlined further reforms in a report, including the breakdown of barriers to cross border consolidation, in addition to advocating one single regulator.

“Advancing further towards a true single market would require gradually moving away from the present status quo of 28 different national regulators,” said the document.

Such reforms in the industry could be questionable, particularly when considering a desire from some European regulators in keeping hold off national infrastructure, in addition to gaining revenues from spectrum auctions.