This year will see some of the most significant changes to the UK market for a decade, with decisions being made that will shape the industry and what it can deliver to consumers for even longer.
Firstly, the Digital Economy bill reaches Parliament, which will allocate radio spectrum that has the potential to bring the benefits of broadband to people currently beyond its reach and give them real choice. The right decisions there could pave the way to a Broadband Britain with choice and access for all.
Secondly, mobile termination rates, the charges that prop up high costs for calling a mobile, will be revised ahead of a new pricing regime in 2011. Along with a huge number of other people, we are calling for a decision that will significantly bring down the cost of calling mobiles, introduce true competition in the voice market and change the way people use mobiles forever. The Terminate the Rate campaign, with its backing from the public, MPs, and a growing range of partners, has demonstrated the widespread demand for change. The UK consumer must not be left behind a change that is being realised across Europe.
Thirdly, the long-predicted consolidation of the UK mobile market will become a reality. T-Mobile and Orange, once keen competitors, are set to join forces. Industries generally welcome consolidation and the mobile industry is no different. The potential losers here will not be the networks, but UK consumers. For the first time, they will have fewer choices when it comes to a mobile provider. This sets a serious challenge for regulators to ensure that competition is maintained to the benefit of UK consumers.
The Digital Economy bill confirms the industry's crucial role in keeping the UK competitive. The right decisions in 2010 will help lay the foundations for a well connected
future in the UK.