BNetzA Orders Telefónica to Sign IoT Roaming Contract with Transatel

European MVNE Transatel has won an initial ruling from the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) on better access to data roaming services.

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The regulator ordered Telefonica Germany to submit contracts to Transatel for wholesale roaming services for the Internet of Things (IoT) after Telefonica rejected Transatel’s earlier attempts to obtain MVNO and RLAH agreements for the German market.

With its decision, the BNetzA rejected Telefonica’s arguments that Transatel’s SIM cards did not fall under the scope of EU roaming legislation and ordered Telefonica to offer Transatel a contract on wholesale access for roaming services.

Transatel said the BNetzA’s decision was supported by an earlier opinion from Berec and helps bring down barriers to innovation in the IoT. Still, Transatel criticized that Germany remains the market with “the highest barrier to entry” for IoT providers, with German mobile operators attempting to keep “alternative players” like Transatel out of the German market, to the detriment of German and European customers.

Transatel is a provider of mobile data services for computer makers as well as a growing number of carmakers looking to offer in-vehicle connectivity. Data roaming is key to the company fulfilling the multinational contracts.

Jacques Bonifay, Transatel CEO: « We’re thankful for this decision and relieved to see that European and German institutions are playing their role in promoting competition in our internal market. It’s important to point out that Germany, the largest European country, is also by far the most difficult one in which to obtain network access. German mobile operators are keeping the doors to the German market shut to alternative players such as Transatel. Our case is only an illustration of this structural situation, one that is clearly detrimental to Europe and to German consumers. Nonetheless, Transatel is committed to bringing innovation to the German market and consumer.”

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