Era ends as EU Commissioner Reding moves on
Mention the word regulation, particulary in the context of the European Union, and people might think of expensive pieces of unnecessary legislation that hinder rather than helps businesses and individuals.
In the case of the telecommunications sector, though, it has served the end-user rather well, though the likes of Vodafone, T-Mobile and Telefonica O2 might smart at some regulatory moves made in recent years, particularly regulation on roaming charges.
A lot of this has been down to the now outgoing European Commissioner Viviane Reding, moving on to a role as Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Reding took on Europe's operators on several fronts, including roaming tariffs and mobile termination rates, becoming well known for a dogged approach.
But if European Telecom regulation has lost one champion for the Consumer, it may have gained another. Neelie Kroes, who is stepping into Reding's shoes, took on the Microsoft in an antitrust investigation and won, and has subsequently investigated Intel and the implications of Oracle buying Sun MicroSystems.
This suggests that she will be able to tough it out with European operators just as Reding has done.
And Reding herself may not have quite finished with her mobile sparring partners- her new remit will cover data protection, an area which, with more and more information living on the mobile device, is already at the top of the agenda for European mobile operators CEOs.