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The selection process for the market's third operator was a spectacle to behold
As featured in DisruptiveViews.
So, Brexit referendum day has come in the UK. If, like me, you have become tired of the politicking and general BS arguments from both sides you will be glad when it’s all over.
The polls in the lead up to the ‘big event’ vacillated almost as much as our publisher’s choice of wine for dinner. Not surprising when you turn on UK TV and get inundated with debates and ads that proclaim that the NHS could build a new hospital somewhere in the UK every month if they didn’t have to pay EU contributions. Of course, they don’t mention that there are not enough qualified people in the UK to man them – those people would likely come from Europe.
What will Europa 2020 looks like and where else will the UK shine so brightly if they are not part of it next time? After all, three UK teams have made in to the last 16.
And who will want to do all those jobs that UK workers don’t like doing any more and have gladly left to those “hordes from the East”. Yes, emotive language is all part of the rubbish people have been fed. For the most part, Mr and Mrs Ordinary Folk probably don’t understand or even give a toss about Europe or the UK’s role in it until they catch the annual charter flight to Ibiza or Benidorm.
It seems the ones that really want to stay in are the businesses and the money people in the ‘square mile of London’ that act as the bankers for Europe – and boy, do they generate some revenue for old blighty! But nobody likes bankers so their arguments won’t hold much sway, right?
Yet, in all the to-ing and fro-ing, nobody has raised the issues that people have come to appreciate in being part of Europe. Let’s start with roaming. Just when we get to parity pricing across the EU for anybody roaming we could be in jeopardy of UK operators dropping out and reverting to the old pricing regimes.
It would be fair to assume that anybody that has traveled across Europe for whatever reason is grateful for the levelling of roaming prices. Operators have been rather quiet about the effect it has had on revenues but their silence can only indicate that more people are using roaming because of the price drop and that extra usage is making up for the loss in roaming surcharges.
Plus, how much easier is it to do billing without having to calculate the loadings and settlements with other carriers? Compare this experience with the nightmare of travelling to the USA, South America or Asia where roaming is still inhibitive and dastardly costly.
We must also assume that potential M&A activity in the telecoms sector across the Channel will be affected. Early forays by Orange and T-Mobile in the UK market have been reasonably successful, but not much has happened in the other direction. Yet, consolidation of the industry seems likely in the future if big network operators are going to survive, let alone thrive. Not being part of the EU may impact UK operators from taking part in the M&A game that will almost certainly unfold.
We only have hours to find out if it’s leave or stay. If it’s the former it will take years to unravel the political and contractual obligations. If it’s the latter the political outfall may take even longer to settle. Heads will roll either way but if it’s a ‘stay’ at least roamers (and bankers) will be smiling. Oh, and don’t forget to close the door behind you if you decide to go – there’s a lot of refugees/immigrants waiting to make the dash across the channel and I’m guessing there will be no reason to stop them.