Regulators are not doing enough to spur investment in mobile broadband networks and services, leading operator CEOs said at Mobile World Congress yesterday.
CEOs from some of the world’s biggest operators: America Movil, AT&T, China Mobile, Telefonica and Vodafone made the calls yesterday.
Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao accused regulators in Europe of being on ‘auto-pilot’, mechanically applying financial obligations that are no longer valid.
He said: ‘We start every year at Vodafone with between £150 million and £250 million less money due to the lowering of MTR [mobile termination rates] and interconnection fees, and probably the same amount again, at the higher end, because of lower [retail] prices.’
‘It may have been valid to lower charges when prices were high, but that is no longer the case. It’s time to move to industrial and forward-looking policies.’
Colao said there had been ‘misguided attempts’ to tax the mobile sector in some markets.
Telefonica’s CEO Cesar Alierta questioned whether it was fair that mobile operators take responsibility for nearly all the network investment to deliver expanding mobile data volumes, while content and service providers hardly contributed at all to network costs.
He said: ‘Regulatory asymmetries of this sort slow down investment growth. We need new business models.’