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Fixed-mobile, there is convergence

Fixed-mobile, there is convergence

Rome – Nothing to do: Wind’s thesis according to which fixed-mobile convergence, as designed and authorized by the TLC Authority, is not fair to the TAR of Lazio does not pass. According to the administrative court, in fact, Agcom’s resolution on the matter is completely legitimate. In other words the go-ahead for fixed-mobile is confirmed . All this is happening just as Tiscali is proceeding with the presentation of its fixed-mobile offer, as an alternative and in response to those already presented by Telecom Italia and Vodafone. The stated objective of the operators is to enter even more homes, to tie fixed users to the uses and customs of the mobile one, to increase telephone and data traffic and, ultimately, to push on the propensity for communication of Italians to multiply turnover.

Wind had insisted, but in vain, in arguing that the resolution adopted by Telecom and Vodafone caused serious disturbances on the market as it was anti-competitive because, in fact, not replicable .

A thesis that could have blown up this new front of the offer, based on the wedding signed by the Italians with cell phones, and that Wind had carried out as a mobile operator unable to formulate convergent offers and that is, in fact, to compete.

The third section of the TAR chaired by Italo Riggio seems to indicate that the magistrates consider Wind’s position very different from those described. Wind is equipped with a fixed network as well as a mobile network and, therefore, the judges explain, “the free entrepreneurial choices of Wind Telecomunicazioni spa – which deems it preferable to wait for the closure of the consultation procedure initiated by Agcom for the use of the bands of frequencies at 900, 1888 and 2100 Megaherz to offer the fixed-mobile service – they cannot negatively affect other operators and prevent them from making equally free business choices, within the limits of respect for free competition “.

“The Agcom – the motivations formulated by the judges still read – has expressly provided that the provision of integrated fixed-mobile services does not constitute a preferential or priority title for the assignment of new frequencies for mobile and personal communication services”.

The convergence therefore it has come and goes on , like it or not. Wind, however, has not run out of arrows in its bow: a few days after the presentation of the offers by Telecom and Vodafone, Orange filed an appeal against Vodafone Casa Libera, complaining about it non-replicability as not the assignee of GSM 900 MHz licenses, considered more suitable than those at 1800 MHz (the only ones used by Wind) to enter homes.

Tiscali, who has just presented his offer, does not want to go to court and instead chooses to present himself with all his papers on the promise of the new telephone world. Here are all the details. Tiscali aims at the fixed-mobile market and does so by announcing with Nokia the start of the experimentation of the convergent service Tiscali Homezone an experimental “limited number” program accessible to Tiscali users who have an ADSL and Voice (VoIP) subscription with two telephone numbers on the operator’s network.

To access the trial, which has an expected duration of 12 months, it is necessary to have a GSM / UMTS phone compatible with the service and a WiFi access point. Tiscali Homezone will be activated for one year on three new generation Nokia devices of the E Series line: Nokia E61, Nokia E61i, Nokia E65 (whose target is usually business users).

WiFi coverage allows you to use your mobile phone as a home phone , so as to make and receive calls from a single device, in this case a Nokia dual-mode mobile phone combined with a fixed Tiscali telephone number. For the user, the effect is similar to that proposed by the two solutions of Telecom Italia and Vodafone, respectively Unica and Vodafone Casa Libera, with some more analogies with the offer of the incumbent (with which it also shares the terminal: Unica in fact it foresees the use of the Nokia E65), which however is quadruple-play.

The company emphasizes like the service is only compatible with ADSL services with dynamic IP and obviously it is declared compatible only with the three Nokia terminals described. Calling with Tiscali Homezone – explains the company – “costs the same as calling with the tariff profile of the Tiscali Voce service you subscribed to: where applicable, the cost of your calls will be charged directly to the bill for the Tiscali Voce service”. Similarly, whoever calls the Tiscali Homezone user on his landline number will not have tariff surprises and will be charged for a normal call to a landline number: calls addressed to the landline number associated with the Homezone service will be diverted to the primary number of the Tiscali Voce service (former Telecom Italia number ported to the Tiscali network).

The elements to be taken into consideration to understand and evaluate this experimental offer are numerous: first of all, the fact that the launch of this beta service was preceded by the launch of the new Tiscali Voce offers, available in flat profiles with a fee of € 19.90. per month (which includes all national calls to landlines) and a semi-flat with a monthly fee of 9.90 euros (which charges only the connection set-up, 15 euro cents, for each national call to a landline telephone).

But in the future, there is also the intention of Tiscali to propose itself, in 2008, as a virtual mobile operator, by virtue of an agreement signed last summer with TIM. And it is likely that this possibility will allow the company to propose one or more offer profiles integrated with tariff plans specifically designed for its convergent solution.

Dario Bonacina