RealTime IT News

German Conservatives Call for Postponement of UMTS Auctions

[Berlin] The Christian Democrat (CDU/CSU) faction in the German parliament has warned German Finance Minister Eichel against using the auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phones for the "renewal of the federal budget".

Elmar M|ller, the parliamentary representative responsible for questions concerning telecommunications in the CDU/CSU faction, said in Berlin, that the prices for the new broadband UMTS frequencies should on no account reach the levels of those in the UK.

If a license were to cost up to 10 million Marks (4.76 million USD) or more, then prices for mobile data services would "approximately double" as a consequence. "Consumers would be the losers", commented M|ller. Deutsche Telekom has already warned of competition distortions in the mobile telecommunications sector within the EU.

M|ller is also chairperson in the advisory board of regulatory authorities for telecommunications and mail (RegTP). He is reported to have already proposed to the president of this body, Klaus Scheuerle, to postpone UMTS auctions to the fall instead of starting in July. This would mean that the auctions would have "less of the character of a lottery", and would be more in accordance with the "given market conditions".

Europe and especially Germany expect considerable economic growth to derive from the new "mobile commerce".