MWC: Vodafone boss slams regulation

Regulation on termination fees and pricing should stop, says Vittorio Colao
Colao called for a halt to pricing regulations at Mobile World Congress.
Colao called for a halt to pricing regulations at Mobile World Congress.

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Telecom regulators should stop interfering with mobile termination and roaming rates, according to Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group.

Speaking at the opening keynote session at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Colao called for an end to the “autopilot regulation” which he said now prevails in much of the world.

“It is an old regulatory approach that was maybe justified 15 years ago but keeps growing and growing,” he said. “We need supportive regulation.”

The CEO added that when a regulator enforces cuts to mobile termination rates, only a small proportion actually ends up in the pockets of the end user. He pointed to a report from the European Commission, which stated that out of 10 cents cut from termination fees, only 2 cents stays with the consumer.

Instead, operators should be able set the termination rates at market prices and be allowed to reinvest the money, he said. “Does Europe need investment and employment, or does it need mobile termination cuts?” he asked. “We should stop having this continuous regulation on pricing and let the industry reinvest the money.

“We have prices in Europe which are much lower – you just have to go into a shop in the US to see how much people pay for a BlackBerry or an iPhone,” he added.
 

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