27 June 2008

EU Household communications survey

This report was released today. It is a wide ranging report (released annually) that examines the use of communications services by households in the EU. Because the report is lengthy, I haven't had a chance to review it fully yet.

In my cursory review, there was one datum -- households with mobile only access, that I wanted to compare with the US. The result? According the the EU report, the number of wireless only households grew to 24% from 22% the year before (figure from p. 10 of the report).

In this item, I had reported a similar study of US households by the CDC. It shows that 14.5% of US households are in a similar position, up from 12.6% of households in the previous year. So, the trends are in the same direction on both sides of the Atlantic, though the percentages are different. Here is how it breaks out by country:

20 June 2008

Recent OECD reports

In advance of the Seoul Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy, two useful reports were released:

  • This report on convergence is a nice summary of the implications of NGNs, with ideas for regulators to consider.
  • This statistical profile to support discussions at the meeting.

In addition, this report was released as an outcome of the ministerial meeting, as well as the Seoul Declaration.

13 June 2008

Mobile termination fees and regulation

This item is interesting, and supports one Robert Horwitz's points about the regulated industry seeking regulation. The rationale in this case is:
The FCC held a full hearing to consider a wireless industry proposal that would essentially federalize the regulation of ETFs. Big Wireless would give consumers a break on these fees, which sometimes go as high as $200. In exchange, the FCC would send a note to the judges overseeing various state-level trials recommending that they shut them down, potentially saving wireless giants billions of dollars.

The economic motivation in this case is quite clear!

11 June 2008

The Future of Digital Convergence

I will be giving a talk on this subject shortly. As a dry run, I made this podcast ...

I welcome your input!

Carriers hike non-EU roaming rates

I have been sitting on this story for a while. The lesson is that firms respond to regulation in many different ways:
European wireless carriers have sharply raised prices for making and receiving calls outside the European Union to compensate for regulator-imposed lower tariffs within the EU, a market research firm said.

Informa Telecoms and Media said on Friday roaming charges had risen as much as 163 percent since the EU capped rates last year at 0.49 euros ($0.76) a minute for making calls abroad in the 27-nation bloc and 0.24 euros for receiving them.

The average price of a call home by an Italian subscriber in Russia was 3.67 euros a minute in 2006, but this has risen 25 percent to 4.58 euros, Informa said.

For customers in most European countries, the cost of roaming in Africa, China, India, Japan, the Middle East, Russia and the United States has risen, the Informa data showed.