The European arm of the GSM Association has put out a frankly risible press release this morning, bemoaning the increasing intervention from EU regulators in the mobile industry.
Quoth GSM Europe Chair chair Kaisu Karvala “This review should be about enabling European businesses to develop in an open and competitive environment which facilitates efficient businesses delivering innovative products at fair prices.”
Ah, so in other words, you're happy that oh-so-"innovative" products like basic GPRS/UMTS data roaming are at "fair prices" then? And that there should be no "premium" for terminating calls to a mobile, versus a fixed network, as you're so keen on promoting the notion of substitution and replacement? And you're disappointed that the European Commission is adding regulation in areas like wholesale SMS? Really?
Well, I'm sorry, but that's what you get for your members pursuing an ignorance-based pricing policy in so many areas, and resentment-based pricing in others. (See my earlier post here for the new way of classifying telecom tariffs)
But hang on, what's this at the bottom of the release?
"In general the Commission’s overall aim to increase flexibility and efficiency of spectrum is welcome. However, the demonstrable merits of harmonisation and prevention of interference under the current regime should be maintained. This means a cautious and evolutionary approach and a suitable transition period"
Ah, I see. So regulation's a bad thing, unless its removal is unfortunately threatening to let in those unpleasant WiMAX chaps to "your" promised 2.5GHz spectrum? Or release slices of spare GSM spectrum for new applications like low-power indoor coverage? But you'd still like the possible "flexibility" to refarm 900MHz for UMTS, perhaps?
And so if it was "demonstrable" to economically prove that value would be added by spectrum neutrality, with appropriate measures to prevent interfence, you'd also be happy, I take it?
I'm just looking forward to the post-consolidation fights where the "fixed" side of a newly-integrated operator wants 2.5GHz WiMAX, and the mobile side wants 2.5GHz UMTS.