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Telecoms: Brussels may enforce mobile single market
[February 27, 2013]

Telecoms: Brussels may enforce mobile single market

(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The European commission has waded into battle on behalf of the region's beleaguered mobile companies, threatening to overrule national governments by taking them to court to enforce the creation of a single market for telecoms.

In a move that could erode the power of national watchdogs such as Ofcom and make Brussels the centre for decision making, telecommunications commissioner Neelie Kroes pledged to drive through one set of rules for the industry across Europe's 27 member states.

"Mobile needs a real single market," Kroes told the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona. The hope is that European states, with their combined population of 500 million, will be better able to take on the might of the United States and China.

The arrival of the 4G superfast mobile internet in Europe has been slow and badly co-ordinated. South Korea has more 4G subscribers than the whole of Europe and 17 EU states have yet to install the technology. "We are shooting ourselves in the foot", said Kroes, adding that Europe's spectrum map looked like a "bowl of spaghetti".

The commission is about to launch proceedings against states resisting airwave sales. Kroes will flesh out how a single market would operate in a Wireless Action Plan to be published on 27 March.

(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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