|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.44, 29.11.01, p20|
BUSINESSES that rely heavily on telecommunications are set to lodge a formal complaint with competition chief Mario Monti's watchdogs over charges that mobile phone companies have orchestrated price hikes for text messaging.
A Brussels-based lobbyist representing telecom users says Union operators have been successful with their short-message-service (SMS) technology - which allows users to send text messages via mobile phones - but are now cashing in on its popularity with subscribers.
"We have seen suspicious price movements for SMS over the last 18 months," said Ewan Sutherland, executive director of the International Telecom Users Group (Intug). "Operators across the EU have participated."
Sutherland said the mobile industry has not disguised its attempts to push up prices for the service.
He said discussions between members of the GSM Association, the trade group of mobile manufacturers had been held quite openly. "They have been holding conferences on the issue," he added
Industry experts say the messaging technology has ceased to be mainly a cheap form of communication for school children and is becoming a popular means of communication in the boardroom, as the superior General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology struggles to find a foothold in Europe.
"It is becoming acceptable to do SMS now in business meetings," said Sutherland.
Intug complaints and publicity campaigns have prompted in-depth probes in other areas where telecom operators are accused of giving users a raw deal.
This led to special "sector probes" into the high price of mobile phone calls and the huge price difference between national leased lines and ones of the same distance that cross EU borders.
Businesses that rely heavily on telecommunications are set to lodge a formal complaint with Competition Commissioner Mario Monti's watchdogs over charges that mobile phone companies have orchestrated price hikes for text messaging. Article forms part of a special report on telecoms.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Internal Markets|