Spanish cellphone charges continue to fall, says regulator

The tariff for Spanish mobile phone calls will decline more steeply this year than during 2007, according to the country's telecoms regulator. The average cellphone call fell by six per cent last year to €0.172 per minute, but a higher percentage drop is predicted this year as EU rulings on roaming charges and the Spanish regulator's reduction of wholesale termination rates take effect.

This continued decline has prompted Telefonica, which has around 45 per cent of the Spanish mobile subscriber base, to call for any more EU-imposed cuts to be delayed or forgotten--hoping that the new French presidency of the EU will introduce a number of revisions to the regulatory package for the mobile sector proposed by Reding.

The GSM Association has also become involved with this battle against Reding's proposal, citing that data from a study by management consultants claims the industry's return on capital employed was as low as seven per cent in 2007, or less than half that of other significant sectors such as steel and software. The GSMA believes that further regulatory moves could seriously damage mobile operators' ability to make much needed capital investments in 4G networks and services.

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Related story:
EU looks to slash termination rates by 70 per cent. Termination rates story