Ovum research analyst Matthew Howett comments:
In announcing the verdict of the 27 member states, Commissioner Reding spoke of a great day for
What has surprised many is the absence of any regulation on SMS and data where it appears the same market failure exists. However, the Commission has committed to monitoring these services over the next 18 months and will not hesitate to step in here too if the market does not initiate lighter forms of self regulation and show it can bring prices down.
Operators and lobbyists were partially successful at softening the blow of this legislation having insisted on an opt-in clause. But let us not be fooled. Reding was prepared to move from her initial hard-line position because she considered core elements had been preserved. This is certainly a style that we have gotten used to from the Commissioner. With first class negotiation skills, Reding will initially take the most ambitious stance knowing that after compromising she will get the deal she really wants.
Further compensation (potentially billions of euros) to operators may yet come with increased GSM spectrum flexibility and the Commission's plans to reform today's slow and bureaucratic spectrum policy. We will know more in October when the Commission is scheduled to announce its revision to the EU framework.
Whilst making it known that she had done all in her power for now, Reding couldn't resist one last opportunity for intervention. When questioned on possibly bringing forward the date of publication in the Official Journal of the EU she joked 'if it were in my hands, it would have already been published'. Her resolve to bring in this legislation couldn't have been better illustrated.