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Spain: Regulator recommends deregulation of Virtual Mobile Operators

 |  July 5, 2016

Spanish competition watchdog CNMC has launched a public consultation, wherein the agency has floated a plan to eliminate, over the following 6 months, a number of obligations imposed on the country’s major mobile operators, including Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange. These obligations have forced the companies, since 2006, to give reasonable access at low prices to “virtual” mobile operators (those that do not have their own allocated broadcasting slots) as a measure to stimulate the VMO sector.

There are now over thirty VMOs throughout Spain, following various business models and strategies. Together, these operators cover 10% of the market, and their appearance has been seen as a boon to competition in Spain’s telecommunications sector. Currently, only two countries in Europe (Cyprus and Norway) have standing ex ante legislation regarding this market.

The CNMC’s has said it believes the market for accessing mobile networks has shown movement towards fair competition, justifying a move towards deregulation. Since the obligations were imposed, in 2006, wholesale prices for VMO’s access to networks has been progressively reduced, both in the data and voice segments.

Full Content: CNMC

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