Three new entrants in the telecoms market have called the European Commission to task by demanding a high level of competition with dominant operators. Bouygues Telecoms in France, E-Plus in Germany and BASE in Belgium, on 23 January, launched a joint website (, which they use to inform the public of their view of a number of ongoing projects, give their analysis of the market and its actors, and promote their competitive prices.

One of the examples that they mention is Germany, where the costs of mobile telephone calls are among the highest in Europe and yet challengers like E-Plus have managed to bring down average prices in the total German market by 11%, despite the existing regulatory framework, from 2005 to 2006.

At stake for the challengers is a fair share of the market from the review of the telecoms regulatory framework scheduled for mid-2007. "We do not expect preferential treatment but we should not be regulated in the same way as...

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