European LTE Rollout May Bring Price War
European operators are gearing up to rollout LTE networks and are apparently fighting to retain fees for connecting calls to other mobile operators, but observers say the move to LTE could see the go ahead in Europe for American style flat rate calling plans to all networks, reports an article over on the NYT.
Analyst for WIK-Consult in Germany, J. Scott Marcus says, “Mobile voice calls and short text messages are some of the most expensive forms of data in the world. There is a debate in the industry over whether operators can justify the prices with L.T.E.”
The largest operators in the world agreed to come up with a new tech standard for transmitting voice calls between competing LTE networks that would preserve Europe’s existing regulated termination fees, and the per minute interconnection fees paid by callers.
However the efficiency of LTE networks may minimise the overall cost of transmitting voice calls. Operators that generate roughly 80% of their revenue from voice calls want to hamper the downwards spiral of prices.
An advisory council in Brussels consisting of European national telecom regulators is scheduled to look at a plan in May to swap the European system from termination rates to one similar to the US flat rate system and most operators are opposed to the change.
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