16 November 2000
The arrival on the market of the first services based on the WAP protocol(1) using GSM mobile networks is the first step in the progressive move of mobile networks to Internet. This evolution will continue with the move from GSM to GPRS(2) then the arrival of third generation mobile systems, which will progressively increase the bit rates available on the radio interface and thus, providing faster access to different types of information (voice, data, video).
In response to the reactions to the first WAP service offerings, ART called a round table on 27 July, 28 September and 26 October to discuss mobile Internet with representatives of the various categories of players: operators, service providers, professional associations, distributors.
The round table had two goals: to meet the need for visibility expressed by the players involved in the process and to define a framework favouring the development of mobile Internet, while respecting the rules of competition.
It allowed, in co-operation with players, the development of recommendations which were published by ART today.
These recommendations, which are perfectly in line with recent decisions on competition and WAP services (commercial court and Paris court of appeal rulings, decision of the Conseil de la Concurrence, position of the European Commission as regards portal choices), lay down in twelve principles the essential base rules which must be respected by players, that is:
- consumers' freedom of choice
- non discrimination between service providers
- clear information for consumers
ART will continue its work in coming months in order encourage developments to mobile Internet. It will also remain attentive to ensure that the rules of competition are respected in this area.