Ansip: Telecom companies eventually profit from market liberalization
According to the European Union's commissioner for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip, telecom businesses have protested before every liberalization of a market, but nevertheless they eventually gained from the changes.
Ansip told daily Eesti Päevaleht that while before the opening of a market, telecom businesses had always said that prices would rise, it had never happened. This held true for both the local market as well as roaming fees.
“And after each liberalization, operators acknowledged that, true, we did lose in terms of margins, but since people began to use our services more, we gained in volumes, and in the end it was a rather profitable decision,” Ansip said.
The European Commission has made a proposal to significantly cut roaming fees. Nordic mobile operators are not happy with the idea, as in the Nordic region mobile Internet is used more frequently, and mobile subscription packages are cheaper than in the South. This, they feel, would give telecom businesses in Southern Europe an unfair advantage.
The businesses argue that the problem could be solved by lower wholesale prices for data communication services, or by restricting the use of mobile Internet when users travel to other countries.