September 1, 2016
Mobile network operator Vodafone has slammed plans by Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Telecoms, to force mobile operators to reduce charges imposed on each other.
Vodafone says that the reforms would hit its poorest customers hardest, with 40 million Europeans likely to be forced to scrap their mobile phones.
Reding is proposing a large cut in termination rates, the charges that mobile network operators force on each other to connect calls to their network.
Under her plans, the average termination rate would fall from €0.08 per minute to under €0.02 per minute by 2012.
This would see mobile operators’ income plummet, which according to Vodafone would mean passing the cost of connecting calls onto customers.
Vodafone says that Reding’s plans would result in European customers paying to receive mobile phone calls, a system that works well in the US, but was found to be unpopular in a survey of 9,000 mobile phone users across Europe.
In addition, the network operator said that the real cost of mobile phones would have to be passed on to customers as mobile operators could no longer afford to subsidise phones, also hitting phone users hard.
What Vodafone seems to be conveniently overlooking is that Reding’s plans will make calls cheaper, and that customers can – God forbid – keep their current mobile phones.