3: “JV issues need resolving”


3 UK has said that competition and consumer issues surrounding the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile need to be addressed quickly.

3 UK chief executive Kevin Russell said: “The approval of the Orange/T-Mobile merger reduces the market from five to four, making it urgent for key competition and consumer issues to be addressed. These include the imbalance of radio spectrum holdings, penal mobile termination rates and a failed mobile number porting system.

“It is critical that the Digital Britain proposals are passed to begin to address the radio spectrum issues and just as critical for Ofcom to act on mobile termination rates and mobile number portability if it is serious about the UK being a competitive market with true consumer choice.

“Customer friendly number porting is the basic platform for competition in the mobile market.  UK consumers are alone in Europe in being forced to ask permission of their current operator if they wish to move their phone number to a new provider. The need for action to address competition issues in the UK has never been greater.”