THIRD GENERATION MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
Letter from the Chairman to Mr Stephen
Timms, Minister of State for E-Commerce and Competitiveness, Department
of Trade and Industry
Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated
1 July 2002 which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on
The Communication from the Commission is timely.
We note that, at this stage, the document carries no legal or
financial implications. Under the circumstances, the Scrutiny
reserve on this document is lifted.
We found the Commission's survey of the market
fascinating, and we note that some countries are making efforts
to lift part of the burden that operating companies faceeither
through spinning out spectrum fees, or, as in the case of France,
reducing the original cost of licences. We recognise that the
French can do this because they did not hold an open auction.
Certainly, the very high prices paid for these licences has had
a debilitating effect on operators, and must, therefore, have
contributed to a delay in the roll-out of this important technology
where the EU has an advantage over the United States.
9 July 2002