10/29/2009 2:37:00 PM
Orange regulation chief slams Ofcom
Orange head of policy and regulation Simon Grossman has slammed Ofcom for a ‘lack of sufficient understanding and awareness’ of the issues facing the mobile industry.
Grossman, head of government policy and mobile regulation with Orange, went on to give the example of General Condition 23, which was introduced by the regulator to tackle mis-selling in the industry.
The regulations place greater responsibility on the operators for the actions of their indirect channel partners, and could see networks fined up to 10% of their revenue in extreme circumstances.
Grossman was speaking on the subject of ‘regulating the future mobile environment’ at the Westminster eForum, ‘More than talk… the future of mobile’.
Speaking about the way regulation of the industry is moving, Grossman highlighted Orange’s position and said: ‘Orange believes consumer outcomes are best achieved by competition – not regulation.’
He went on to explain the operator’s perspective on how regulation of the industry is developing, and claimed there has been a shift in perception from regulators, driven by the size of the industry.
Grossman said: ‘[For the regulator] It is so large and significant – the risk is too high not to regulate.’
He also attacked the recent roaming regulation imposed on operators from the EU, describing it as ‘possibly one of the most unintelligible pieces of legislation imposed on the telecoms market’.
Grossman was one of several speakers to address regulation issues, who also included Ofcom competition policy director David Stewart, who said: ‘The UK is as competitive a market as any we have looked at and mobile is becoming more complex, from voice to data, a virtuous circle is emerging.’
Despite Grossman’s remarks on the subject, he was keen to emphasise that the regulator and the operator are working together and Ofcom will be visiting an Orange call centre in the future.
A spokesperson for the regulator said: ‘Ofcom has carried out a very comprehensive assessment of the mobile market as part of its Mobile Sector Assessment covering a range of issues including mobile coverage, consumer protection measures, access and inclusion issues, mobile content as well as competition in the mobile market.
‘We have regular dialogue with relevant stakeholders to ensure we thoroughly understand the mobile market and that we regulate it effectively for the benefit of consumers.’