Vodafone UK has replaced Three as Gamma Telecom’s partner, with the deal being the operator’s first MVNA.
The deal will enable Gamma Telecom’s partners to have their own customer relationships and have direct control over price and branding, which Gamma Telecom states enables them to offer a wider range of converged fixed and mobile solutions to small businesses.
The service is targeted to go live in Q2 2011, and Gamma Telecom is looking for interested partners immediately.
According to Vodafone UK Director of wholesale Tim Stone, this is a great opportunity for Vodafone’s network to strengthen the portfolios of Gammas’ partners whilst expanding Vodafone’s wholesale expertise into the fixed reseller market.
As per Gamme Telecom CEO Bob Falconer, this is the best opportunity in a decade for their channel partners to confidently get back into mobile services and knowing that they can compete effectively, differentiate their capability, and build real value into their businesses.
U.K. communications regulator Ofcom has issued a ‘Statement of Objections’ to BT Group PLC setting out its view that BT has infringed competition law over the pricing of its Wholesale Calls product from July 2008 to April 2009, a claim the telecom giant strongly disproves.
According to Ofcom, BT engaged in a margin squeeze by setting the prices charged to other providers for its wholesale calls products at a level that wouldn’t have allowed equally efficient operators to cover their costs.
According to BT, it refutes, in the strongest terms, any allegation that we applied incorrect pricing to their wholesale calls product between July 2008 and April 2009.
Ofcom stated that BT will now have an opportunity to respond to Ofcom’s proposed findings before Ofcom decides whether competition law has been infringed.
BT added that they will, of course, participate fully in the Ofcom investigation over the coming months and defend their pricing vigorously.
The regulator stated other communications providers use BT’s Wholesale Calls product to offer calls at a retail level.
This is the latest step in Ofcom’s investigation following complaints from THUS PLC–now part of Cable and Wireless Worldwide PLC and Gamma Telecom–which submitted a complaint in June 2008 under the Competition Act 1998 regarding BT’s behavior in the wholesale calls market.
The wholesale calls market involves large communications providers providing wholesale fixed line telecoms services to other, smaller communications providers. They then provide telecoms services to residential and business customers.