A single European Union-wide telecoms market could be in place from 2010 after the European Commission set out plans to increase competition. Under the new plans, a regional watchdog would be created and former monopolies could be forced to split up their network and services operations.
The planned changes are designed to offer consumers cheaper broadband services and phone calls from fixed line and mobile handsets, the Commission also argues. It claims that consumers are currently losing out because in many member countries, including Poland, Italy and Germany, the former state telecoms monopolies still dominate, particularly in the broadband market.
The proposals will now be debated in the European Parliament.
However, analysts said there is likely to be opposition to the changes with Germany and Spain seen as critics.