German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur said it will investigate a zero-rated data offer from Vodafone Germany, in a bid to determine whether it falls foul of Europe’s net neutrality rules.
A representative for the regulator told German publication InfoDigital the regulator would look into Vodafone Passes, an offer providing customers with unlimited data for certain chat, social media, music and video applications which is set to launch in the country later this year.
Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao stated in July he was confident the deal met EU requirements, as it didn’t exclude any specific content.
“There’s no discrimination happening here,” he said during the company’s Q1 2017 earnings update: “Unlike other operators we are not saying this is only open to this service or that service. If you want a video pass it’s open to all video. We don’t discriminate and we don’t want to choose, that’s for customers.”
Bundesnetzagentur’s move follows an investigation into Deutsche Telekom’s StreamOn, a similar service to Vodafone’s, which launched in April.
Indeed, operators’ interpretation of EU net neutrality rules have put them head to head with local regulators in certain markets. In Sweden, regulator PTS is also probing a similar offer from operator Telia, while T-Mobile’s Dutch business faced issues with local regulators relating to a zero-rated music offer.
During the three months to June, Vodafone introduced Vodafone Pass in Spain, Romania, Italy, Hungary and Greece.