Ofcom Mobile Sector Assessment Interactive Executive Summary

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1.22

 In other areas, we want to understand the extent to which market conditions will deliver specific outcomes that are in the interests of citizens and consumers – for example, an open and thriving mobile broadband environment with scope for innovation across different parts of the mobile value chain. Where competition will secure these goals, the question of regulation does not arise. Where the market seems unlikely to deliver those outcomes, the question then needs to be asked: what role, if any, might regulation play?

Comments

Mike Conradi on 1 September 2008 at 6:02pm

I hope that OFCOM will, as part of this review, look at the wholesale SMS market (ie the ability of non MNO businesses to buy wholesale SMS minutes for resale and use as part of their own business offerings).

A review of this was announced in September 2006 (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/ioi/mbp/smsreview/) but OFCOM subsequently decided not to pursue it.

I have encountered a number of businesses with some very creative ideas about how they could make more use of SMS services, but which appear to be unable to progress because of difficulties in this market.

A Hayes on 5 September 2008 at 9:24am

I'd agree with the comment above. We have several beneficial uses for SMS (to save our library users from incurring fines, to alert people to cancelled/amended classes, etc.) but the costs are considered prohibitive. This is particularly the case where we would lose income (as a result of helping our users reduce their library fines) but pay the costs for the service.

As I and others have noted earlier, there needs to be pressure on providers to:
extend coverage to all areas, not just areas of high population
extend and improve performance and coverage of data services
reduce costs of data services
improve roaming services, including addressing service availability and costs
work with middle-ware service providers such as potentially the NHS and others to introduce 'new' services e.g. around the assisted living agenda
thought given to enabling access to the technology 'have nots' in our society

I'm happy if the providers do this as part of marketisation but am concerned that the costs/benefits would mean it would be unattractive for them, in which case the regulator has a real role in stressing/enforcing the strategic national importance of such agenda.

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About this Site

On this experimental site we encourage you to leave informal comments alongside the Executive Summary of Ofcom's Mobile Sector Assessment consultation, published on 28 August 2008.

Alternatively, you can download the full consultation document, and/or respond formally to the consultation (closing date 6 November 2008). You can also follow the debate over the next few months on the team's blog, Mobile citizens, mobile consumers.