Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2, has called on the new Government to provide more regulatory certainty over spectrum and mobile termination rates (MTRs).
The move comes so that operators can plan their investment programmes over the next few years.
Speaking to Mobile last week after the release of the company’s Q1 results, Dunne said: ‘I have written to [Business Minister] Vince Cable already. This is a critical time for the mobile sector; therefore, the more certainty we get, the better.
‘Now is not the time to gouge revenues out of the sector. I’m sure that if I was in Government and I saw the spectrum auction in Germany, I might rub my hands at the thought of the money, but they need to think of the cost of digital inclusion and join the dots between policies.’
Dunne said that maintaining current levels of unlimited data is unmanageable, but that telcos have to find a way to balance the service that people want with prices that they are prepared to pay.
He pointed out that data revenues have risen by 44% year on year, but ARPU has remained fairly static.
‘We need a more intelligent proposition for managing the explosion and delivering data opportunities,’ he said.
Dunne added that operators have to build business cases for investing in spectrum, but that the current increase in data revenues will not match he cost of the investment needed to manage the explosion in data usage.
He said the proposed cuts in MTRs made the business case even more difficult.
‘If I make a case to my shareholders for more investment in spectrum, but lose a big chunk of revenue from cuts in MTRs, then we will have to be much more focused. Otherwise we cannot justify making the investment in building the digital promise,’ he said.
Dunne said that if returns on the capital expenditure needed to invest in spectrum were not high enough, the mobile sector will not be an attractive investment.