Foreign telecom "barriers" hindering competition: US
Germany was among the countries that the US report said had issues with ‘high’ fixed and mobile call termination rates and with transparency and regulatory independence.Washington -- The United States said Monday that foreign barriers to telecommunications services and equipment are hindering its effort to compete globally.
In a review of Washington's telecommunication agreements with countries, the US Trade Representative (USTR) cited issues with major suppliers as well as "high" fixed and mobile call termination rates, and transparency and regulatory independence as among key concerns.
"Barriers to telecommunications services and equipment make it harder for the US to compete in the global marketplace, and harder for us to evolve efficient and innovative communications infrastructure here at home,” said USTR Ron Kirk.
"In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to make sure this engine of investment and growth is running strong," he said in a statement after his office completed an annual review of the "operation and effectiveness of telecommunications trade agreements" as required under US law.
Kirk said the United States would strive to reduce the barriers.
The review report highlighted issues that "competitive" telecommunications carriers faced in Australia, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, Singapore and Sweden when trying to lease parts of an incumbent operator’s network.
It also cited high rates or surcharges foreign operators in Japan, El Salvador, Jamaica, Peru and Tonga charged US telecommunications operators to deliver long-distance calls into the foreign operators’ countries.
This, the report said, resulted in higher costs for US carriers and higher prices for US consumers.
The report also underlined the need for improvement in transparency among independent regulatory agencies in China, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Mexico and South Africa.
In addition, equipment standards and "conformity assessment," including testing requirements, imposed by Brazil, China, India, Israel, Mexico, South Korea and Thailand acted as "barriers to entry" for US telecommunications equipment, the report said.