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”.

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