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Europe’s four biggest mobile operators look to combine their services

The European continent’s four biggest mobile operators are seeking to join forces to create a better continental service. In what can be considered a pan-European infrastructure network, the Financial Times (FT) reports that Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Telefonica have been meeting with the EU’s competition chief to discuss how the idea could be achieved in what is a rather fragmented European market.

Europe is one continent where different countries and their respective laws causes difficulty in creating a standard for communication laws, and this aspect has created varying differences between the mobile carriers. As one person familiar with the meeting said: “The operators expressed a deep sense of frustration and agreed to bring constructive ideas of how a European market could work. Objections won’t come from Europe, they will be from the [EU’s 27 national] regulators.”

This would put the EU in a similar field as China, which has three wireless operators throughout the country. This would also be beneficial for consumers as internet and telecoms services would be subjected to single pricing instead of country dependent charges. Operators would benefit from shared network infrastructures and use resources on a wholesale basis. For the most part Europe has always been a bit of a headache with different countries having different communication laws, charges and operators. Industry insiders are upbeat about the talks, as the European telecom industry has been showing some decline in revenue at a time when the mobile world has been gathering speed.

Image: ForeignPolicyBlogs

Author | Stephan Lourens

Stephan Lourens
Born 20 years too early. Curses sometimes. Thinks too much. Believes plug-and-play is the best invention ever. If asked what he wants for his birthday he will say a gadget, then money. So he can go buy a gadget. More

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