The Spanish telecoms regulator, CMT, decided to postpone the European Union-recommended date to make cuts to mobile termination rates (MTR) by 12 months.
The decision prompted Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner for the digital agenda, to inform the Spanish regulator that the EU has "serious doubts" because the delay doesn't appear justified.
"Spanish consumers should not have to pay over the odds for mobile calls, especially when domestic finances are so tight," Kroes said in a statement, according to Dow Jones Newswires. "The industry has already had three years to adapt and a further delay of one year is unjustifiable."
The CMT responded to the criticism in a blog post: "Carrying this out in one step, or in a very reduced timeframe, could have a destabilising impact on the mobile market and could significantly reduce the income of operators at a time when the sector is carrying out significant investment."
The CMT also said that it will remain committed to the schedule it has outlined, which will have Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange gradually lowering their MTRs from €0.04 to €0.0109 by January 1, 2014.
Yoigo, Spain's fourth mobile operator, must, under the CMT rules, cut its MTRs from €0.05 cents to €0.0109 over the same period.
The CMT now has three months to discuss potential solutions with the commission and other European telecoms regulators that comply with the EU rules
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