Fairer mobile access for business -- FCS supports Make The Air Fair campaign

Posted on 28/11/2016

FCS is pleased to be adding our voice this morning -- alongside TalkTalk, Gamma, City Fibre and Relish -- to a new consumer campaign to ‘Make The Air Fair' #TellSharon. 

FCS reckons it’ll take more than a 30% spectrum cap to sort out the inequities in the wholesale mobile market.  But it’s certainly a useful start.  Firstly to ensure CPs actually have a choice of networks who are actually capable of delivering a decent service;  secondly to raise the whole issue of how spectrum is auctioned and operated.

FCS and Gamma are the voices of business comms in this almost excruciatingly consumer-facing campaign.  But it has a serious point and a serious objective.  Ofcom have already responded to the arguments by telling BT/EE they cannot bid in the latest mobile spectrum auction.  But Ofcom’s once-off market interventions have a habit of being overtaken by events (remember the spectrum reserved for a ‘new entrant’ in the 4G auction?)  So given that we seem to be lumbered with the prospect of quasi-monopoly in mobile for the foreseeable future, we’re pushing on to get a playground-levelling principle established.

This morning’s FCS press release:

FCS, the business-to-business telecoms association, is throwing its weight behind a new campaign to improve competition in the mobile phone market.

As Ofcom prepares to release new radio spectrum for mobile telephony, industry campaigners are calling for a cap on the maximum amount of spectrum any one network is allowed to control.  FCS is joining with Three, Gamma, TalkTalk, City Fibre and Relish in calling on Ofcom to ‘Make The Air Fair'.

“In every other market, business people are used to having a choice of good services from a variety of suppliers,” says FCS chief executive Chris Pateman. “But mobile telephony depends on those competitors all having enough radio spectrum to offer their services over.  Unfortunately, the UK market doesn’t currently have that balance.

“The present distortion in mobile availability risks making the whole telecommunications sector look amateurish and old-fashioned.  We owe it to Government and business to deliver real choice and proper competition for the high quality voice and data connections upon which they rely to trade in the modern world.” 

FULL PRESS RELEASE

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