Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Telecommunications services: giving the customer choice

The European Commission has adopted a Green Paper on a numbering policy for telecommunications services in Europe. The Commission considers that special attention must be given to ensure that customer needs will not be overlooked in a liberalised, multi-operator environment.

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The European Commission has adopted a Green Paper on a numbering policy for telecommunications services in Europe. The Commission considers that special attention must be given to ensure that customer needs will not be overlooked in a liberalised, multi-operator environment.

The Commission sees this as an important step for the completion of the internal market. With the emergence of a liberalized telecommunications market within the European Union, the availability of adequate numbers, allocated on a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory basis, is an essential condition for effective competition, innovation and consumer choice.

New mechanisms are proposed that allow customers to keep their telephone number if they decide to switch telephone company or service provider. The Green Paper also includes a proposal to open special Europe-wide services, such as freephone and premium rate services, which are today often available only on a national level. These services should be based on Europe-wide numbers.

In addition, the Commission calls for further study on the evolution of numbering to ensure that Europe's future numbering environment can fully accommodate the needs of European businesses and citizens in the Information Society.

Subject to the outcome of the three months consultation on the Green Paper, the Commission intends to bring forward proposals to put in place a European numbering policy that enriches choice for the customer and ensures equal and balanced conditions for market players across the Union.
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