MOBILE TELEPHONY : ROAMING PROPOSAL UNDER ATTACK FROM VIRTUAL OPERATORS'.

Opposition to the proposed mobile phone roaming charges (calls to another country)aregulation has so far been dominated by the GSM Association, which represents some 700 mobile telephone operators and 80% of users worldwide. But virtual operators' are now organising their own lobbying drive against the proposal, under the auspices of the RVNO (Roaming Virtual Network Operators Group), which brings together Amatus and Unify Mobile (Netherlands), Transatel (France) and United Mobile (Switzerland).

These operators provide mobile phone services to the public without having their own frequencies or network. Known as "mobile virtual network operators" (MVNO), they conclude contracts with big mobile operators that have frequencies and infrastructure, buying "wholesale" traffic and services and selling them on a retail basis to their customers, often adding certain services.

"Every member of the group already offers mobile...

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