The communications regulator, ComReg, has announced plans that could change the Irish mobile phone market in a similar fashion to other European mobile markets.
The regulator is planning to open the networks of Vodafone and 02 to outside competition, according to its conclusions of a review on the wholesale mobile access and call origination market. ComReg found that Irish mobile prices are high particularly in the post-paid segment of the market and that there is clear evidence that other telecom operators want access to existing mobile networks.
In other European countries where mobile virtual network operators have entered the market, the prices paid by consumers have fallen in some cases by up to 25%.
ComReg said existing national roaming agreements between network operators should stay in place — with Vodafone and O2 required to maintain the roaming agreements they currently have in place with other operators.
ComReg was required by the European Commission to analyse the level of competition in the market by EU legislation.
The telecoms regulator is now notifying the EU Commission of its findings and, subject to the Commission’s approval, will implement the proposed measures from January.