Thursday, 26 January 2012

Romanian regulator consults on the release of the 830-862 MHz, 1747.5-1785 MHz, 1842.5-1880 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz frequency bands

ANCOM, launched its consultation on the release of the 830-862 MHz, 1747.5-1785 MHz, 1842.5-1880 MHz and 2500-2690 MHz frequency bands (see ANCOM's press release).

Swedish NRA consults on planned radio use in the 2.3 GHz band

PTS launched its consultation as regards the planned use in the 2,3 GHz band, to receive views from the market in respect of problems relating to coexistence, technology and service neutrality, assignment units required, time to implement any selection procedure, territorial limits, spectrum ceiling (see the Authority's relative page).

Commission closes infringement case after UK correctly implements EU rules on privacy in electronic communications

"The European Commission has closed an infringement case against the UK in recognition that UK national legislation has now been changed to properly implement EU rules on ePrivacy and data protection on the confidentiality of communications such as email or Internet browsing. The Commission believes UK law and institutions are now well-equipped to enforce the privacy rights of UK users" (see the Commission's full press release).

ACTA formally signed

ACTA was signed by the EU and 22 Member States (Member States that did not sign: Cyprus, Esthonia, Germany, Netherlands and Slovakia) in a signing ceremony held at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (see statement). The European Parliament will now continue scutinizing the agreement.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Commission Proposals on the data protection reform

The European Commission made public its proposals on the reform of data protection (see the relevant page).

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Commission launches Consultation on the revision of the European Union rules on regional state aid

The European Commission has launched its Consultation on the revision of the European Union rules on regional state aid (see the relevant page).

Ofcom issued a final determination on the dispute between Talk Talk and BT on MPF rental charges

"On 23 January 2012, Ofcom issued a final determination under sections 188 and 190 of the Act resolving this dispute.

Ofcom was asked to resolve this dispute under section 185(1A) of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act) concerning the charge set by BT for LLU MPF rental
" (see OFCOM's relevant page).

Commission launches consultation on spectrum for more efficient energy production and distribution

The European Commission launched a consultation as regards "the use of spectrum for one of the specific Union policies referred to in Article 8 of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP), which states that the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall consider making spectrum available for wireless technologies with a potential for improving energy saving, including smart energy grids and smart metering systems". The Commission will run up unti 18 April 2012 (see the Commission's relevant page).

Cypriot Decree on rights of way published in the National Gazzette

The Cypriot Decree "ΚΠΔ 10/12" on Rights of Way focusing on public streets which repeals the previous respective Decision was published in the National Gazette (see the regulator's relevant page, in greek).

France Telecom's new reference offers including regulated wholesale tariffs for 2012

The French regulator, stated in its press release the following:

"In the first half of 2011, ARCEP carried out a public consultation on annualized investment cost methodologies for France Telecom's copper local loop. It also performed technical work in preparation for its report to the Senate on these costs, and on changes resulting from the switch from copper to fibre.

In the wake of this consultation and this work, ARCEP considered that its method, which is based on economic amortisation of the incumbent carrier's actual costs, does not induce either excessive compensation or provision for replacement of fixed assets, and appears to comply with the ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union against ARCOR and with European Commission recommendations. ARCEP nevertheless believes it necessary to take into account, first, the increased longevity of the civil engineering, which is an essential infrastructure that can be reused for the deployment of optical fibre networks, and second, on the contrary, the accelerated obsolescence of copper cables which are due to be replaced by fibre optic cables.

In its Decision No.2012-0007 of 17 January 2012, ARCEP amended its Decision No. 05-0834 of 15 December 2005, setting the cost assessment method to be used for the copper pair, by progressively shortening the amortization period of copper cables from 25 to 13 years while at the same time progressively increasing the amortization period of civil engineering assets from 40 to 50 years between now and 2021. This scheduled increase should result in a decrease in France Telecom's full unbundling tariffs after 2012.

Pursuant to the publication of this decision, and in accordance with its regulatory obligations, France Telecom amended the tariffs subject to cost-oriented pricing obligations imposed by market analysis decisions. Of particular note, the price of full unbundling has decreased from €9.00 to €8.80.

France Telecom has proposed bringing these changes quickly into effect, which would have positive repercussions for alternative operators:

- the price decreases will be applied retroactively, as of 1st January 2012;

- the remaining price changes will come into effect on 1st February 2012.

These changes to France Telecom's prices will translate into a decrease of more than €50 million in alternative operators' expenses in 2012 from the incumbent carrier's total income of €2.4 billion.
"

ARCEP issues licences to the digital dividend spectrum winners (800 MHz)

"Through Decision No. 2011-1510 of 22 December 2011, ARCEP selected the companies Bouygues Telecom, Orange France and SFR as the winning candidates in the spectrum allocation procedure for 800 MHz-band frequencies.

Today (17 january 2012) ARCEP issued each of these companies a licence to use spectrum in the 800 MHz band to establish and operate a publicly available mobile radio network in Metropolitan France
" (see the full press release).

Italian DTT frequency beauty contest suspended

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development announced the suspension of the DTT frequency beauty contest (in italian, see also a brief analysis in medialaws.eu).

Friday, 20 January 2012

Greek incumbent declaring intention to "tweak" costs?

OTE's CEO, Mr Tsamaz, has purpotedly stated (see imerisia.gr and adsl.gr, in greek) that the company will transfer some of its employees, that are not involved directly in the process of rendering retail or wholesale services, to other subsidiaries so that OTE's costs are reduced, resulting amongst other, in the respective reflection of that decrease of costs in its cost-oriented price control obligaions imposed by the regulator.

French NCA delivers Recommendations on National FttH plan

The French Competition Authority issued its Recommendations addressed to the Senate (in french), so that distortion of competition is avoided when the projects of the French State's FttH plan are launched.

Polish MTRs draft decisions leading to Art. 7a withdrawn - UKE assumes commitment to review the market

In a common statement, the European Commission, BEREC and the President of UKE, stated the following:

"On 11 January 2012, a tripartite meeting on the regulatory situation in the markets for voice call termination on individual public mobile telephone networks in Poland took place between representatives of the European Commission (EC), the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and UKE at the seat of the Office of Electronic Communications in Warsaw.

The meeting was held, in accordance with Article 7a(2) of the Framework Directive, to identify the most appropriate and effective regulatory measure, in line with the Commission Recommendation of 7 May 2009 on the regulatory treatment of fixed and mobile termination rates in the EU (OJ L 09.124.67), for the problems identified by UKE on the markets concerned.

The meeting directly related to draft regulatory decisions for mobile operators notified by the President of UKE in October/November 2011 (cases: PL/2011/1255-1258, PL/2011/1260, PL/2011/1273) and the serious doubts subsequently raised by the Commission regarding the remedies proposed by the Polish regulator.

The President of UKE, the European Commission and the BEREC successfully defined together the most effective regulatory approach to ensure that the regulatory goal, i.e. implementation of symmetric mobile termination rates for all Polish mobile operators, based on the bottom-up LRIC (long run incremental cost) model, starting from 1 January 2013, is met. This implies that there is no need to intervene in interconnection rates disputes by the regulator on a case by case basis.
The Parties agreed that UKE:

• withdraws those draft decisions which were notified in October/November 2011;

• notifies new draft SMP (significant market power) decisions for mobile operators in the voice call termination market, defining symmetric MTRs (mobile termination
rates) based on the bottom-up LRIC model.

The President of UKE explained that the relevant draft SMP decisions will be presented to the Commission, BEREC and the other national regulatory authorities in mid-2012 and are planned to be finally adopted in the autumn of 2012.

The three institutions agree and firmly reiterate that regulatory obligations, including the level of MTRs, are legally binding for the addressees of SMP decisions and should be executed and implemented immediately after the relevant decisions are issued, without any additional need for the regulator to intervene in bilateral interconnection agreements on the set level of MTRs.

Having regard to the above, the three institutions require the addressees of regulatory decisions issued following market analyses to comply with such decisions immediately and in their entirety
".

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Malta's regulator issued Number Portability Specification for Premium Rate Numbers

MCA has issued its Number Portability Specification for Premium Rate Numbers.

Italian NRA approves Telecom Italia's prices for its bitstream services

AGCOM has approved (in italian) the prices in TI's Reference Offer for its bitstream services (market 5) which are subject to cost orientation.

IMT-Advanced standards announced for next-generation mobile technology

"Specifications for next-generation mobile technologies – IMT-Advanced – were agreed today (18 January 2012) at the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly currently meeting in Geneva.

Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that "LTE-Advanced" and "WirelessMAN-Advanced" should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced.

IMT-Advanced systems include new capabilities that go beyond IMT-2000, widely deployed since 2000 and referred to as 3G mobile technologies. ITU has now specified the standards for IMT-Advanced, the next-generation global wireless broadband communications that provide access to a wide range of packet-based telecommunication services supported by mobile and fixed networks
" (see ITU's full press release).

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

AG delivers Opinion in DR and TV2 Danmark case

AG Trstenjak, has delivered her Opinion in case C-510/10, and reads as follows:

"98. In the light of the foregoing, I propose that the questions referred should be answered as follows:

1. The expressions ‘by means of their own facilities’ in Article 5(2)(d) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society and ‘on behalf of [and/or] under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation’ in recital 41 of the preamble to that directive must be interpreted with reference to European Union law.

2. Recital 41, in the light of which Article 5(2)(d) of the directive is to be interpreted, is to be understood as meaning that the facilities referred to there include those which are employed for the sole purpose of enabling a particular broadcasting organisation subsequently to use the ephemeral recording to make a lawful broadcast, on the assumption that the recording is made under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation.

3. A specific assessment as to whether a recording made by a third party (‘the producer’) for use in a broadcasting organisation’s transmission was made ‘by means of [the broadcasting organisation’s] own facilities’ and also ‘on behalf of [and/or] under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation’, with the result that the recording is covered by the exception laid down in Article 5(2)(d) of Directive 2001/29, is to be based on whether the facilities are employed for the sole purpose of enabling the broadcasting organisation subsequently to use the ephemeral recording to make a lawful broadcast, on the assumption that the recording is made under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation.

(a) The term ‘own facilities’ in Article 5(2)(d) of Directive 2001/29 is to be understood as meaning that a recording which was made by the producer for use in a broadcasting organisation’s transmissions is covered by the exception laid down in Article 5(2)(d) only if the broadcasting organisation is liable towards third parties for the producer’s acts and omissions in relation to the recording in the same way as it would be if the broadcasting organisation had itself committed those acts and omissions.

(b) The condition that the recording must be made ‘on behalf of [and/or] under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation’ is not, however, always automatically satisfied where the broadcasting organisation has commissioned the producer to make the recording so that the broadcasting organisation can transmit the recording in question itself, on the assumption that the broadcasting organisation concerned has the right to transmit the recording in question.

For the purpose of answering Question 3(b),

(i) it is immaterial whether it is the broadcasting organisation or the Producer which has the final and conclusive artistic/editorial decision on the content of the commissioned programme under the agreement concluded between those parties;

(ii) the question whether the broadcasting organisation is liable towards third parties for the producer’s obligations in relation to the recording in the same way as it would be if the broadcasting organisation itself had committed those acts and omissions is a decisive consideration;

(iii) it is immaterial whether the producer is contractually obliged by the agreement with the broadcasting organisation to deliver the programme in question to the broadcasting organisation for a specified price and has to meet, out of this price, all expenses that may be associated with the recording;

(iv) it is material whether it is the broadcasting organisation or the producer which assumes liability for the recording in question vis-à-vis third parties, although both may be jointly liable.

(c) The condition that the recording must be made ‘on behalf of [and/or] under the responsibility of the broadcasting organisation’ is not automatically satisfied where a broadcasting organisation has commissioned the producer to make the recording so that the broadcasting organisation can transmit the recording in question itself, on the assumption that the broadcasting organisation in question has the right to transmit the recording, where the producer, in the agreement with the broadcasting organisation relating to the recording, has assumed the financial and legal responsibility for (i) meeting all the expenses associated with the recording in return for payment of an amount fixed in advance; (ii) the purchase of rights; and (iii) unforeseen circumstances, including any delay in the recording and breach of contract, but without the broadcasting organisation being liable towards third parties in respect of the producer’s obligations in relation to the recording in the same way as it would be if the broadcasting organisation had itself committed those acts and omissions
".

Commission launches accelerated infringement proceedings against Hungary over independence of its data protection authorities amongst other grounds

"The European Commission has today started legal action against Hungary over new legislation that came into force at the beginning of the year under Hungary's new constitution. Following several exchanges with the Hungarian authorities on the drafts of the new legislation – notably letters sent by President José Manuel Barroso, Vice-President Viviane Reding (EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship) and Vice-President Olli Rehn (EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro) – the Commission has now concluded a detailed legal assessment of the new legislation adopted at the beginning of January. For the Commission, the Hungarian legislation conflicts with EU law by putting into question the independence of the country's central bank and data protection authorities and by the measures affecting its judiciary.

The Commission therefore decided today to send three Letters of Formal Notice to Hungary – the first stage in the EU's infringement procedure – and to raise further related issues with the Hungarian authorities to identify whether further action may be warranted under EU law, notably regarding the independence of the judiciary. The Hungarian authorities now have one month to respond to the Commission's concerns.

...

Under new Hungarian legislation, also 274 judges (including judges at the Supreme Court) are being compulsorily retired in contradiction to EU rules. The government also receives powers over the data protection authority that contradict the EU Treaties, which require the independence of national data protection authorities (Articles 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union/TFEU, Article 8(3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights) and the independence of the national central bank (Articles 130 and 127 TFEU, Article 14 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank). Hungary's central bank is part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Hungarian Central Bank Governor has a seat in the General Council of the European Central Bank, which is the ECB's third decision-making body.

...

3) Independence of the data protection supervisory authority

The case on the data protection supervisor relates to Hungary's recent decision to create a new National Agency for Data Protection, replacing the current Data Protection Commissioner's Office as of 1 January 2012. As a result, the six-year term of the Data Protection Commissioner currently in office, who was appointed in 2008, will be prematurely put to an end. There are no interim measures until the term of the current Commissioner's term ends in 2014.The new rules also create the possibility that the prime minister and president could dismiss the new supervisor on arbitrary grounds.

The independence of data protection supervisors is guaranteed under Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In addition, EU rules on data protection (Directive 95/46/EC) require Member States to establish a supervisory body to monitor the application of the Directive acting in complete independence. This has been confirmed by the Court of Justice. In its ruling in a case concerning Germany (C-518/07 of 9 March 2010), the Court underlined that data protection supervisory authorities have to remain free from any external influence, including the direct or indirect influence of the state. The mere risk of political influence through state scrutiny is sufficient to hinder the independent performance of the supervisory authority's tasks, the Court ruled
" (see the full press release).

AGCOM issues regulatory obligations as regards access to NGNs

The Italian NRA has made public its regulatory obligations (in italian) to be imposed in the wholesale broadband access and physical network infrastrucure access markets as regards access to NGNs.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Maltese regulator orders GO to compensate consumers that withdraw from its amended tv service

Since GO amended unilaterally its tv service, MCA has effected an order, under which, GO shall return to consumers that withdraw from their contract and thus return their leased set-top boxes, the amount of money that the latter have spent for their leased set top boxes.

Italian NRA approves Telecom Italia's Reference Offer regarding LLU, SLU and co-location services

AGCOM has approved TI's Reference Offer on LLU, SLU and co-location services (in italian).

AGCOM's Regulation on co-location and infrastrucure sharing

AGCOM has made public its Regulation on co-location and infrastrucure sharing (in italian).

Greek draft Law to render Hellenic Gaming Commission independent

The forthcoming Law (see the draft and preamble) that will address numerous issues in relation to Greece's economic recovery plan, contains a section providing amongst other, for the administrative and financial independence of the Hellenic Gaming Commission.

The Commission started its operations, officially, in late December (see Ministerial decision, in greek) and its framework is provided under Law 4002/2011 (in greek).

Monday, 16 January 2012

Polish NRA announces forthcoming consultation in 1800 MHz auction

"The takeovers and agreements concluded in the telecommunications market in Poland have led to the situation that there is a factual duopoly in the 1800 MHz band in Poland..."

"...the President of UKE has concluded that quick assignment of the released resources in the 1800 MHz frequency band without waiting for the release of frequencies in the band below 1 GHz, is in the social interest. When analysing market situation, the President of UKE assumes that the tender procedure will be launched with respect to currently available frequencies in the 1800 MHz band of 2x25 MHz bandwidth, split into two tender procedures. They will be conducted based on two different regulatory objectives:

- the first tender will be based on the first objective, i.e. to increase competition by creating appropriate and preferential conditions for participation in the tender for one general exclusive frequency licence for the frequency block of 2 x 10 MHz bandwidth (corresponding to 50 duplex radio channels of 200 kHz bandwidth each), in the 1729.9-1739.9 MHz and 1824.9 - 1834.9 MHz bands for telecommunications operators which currently have no access to the 1800 MHz band;

- the second tender will be aimed at granting three general exclusive frequency licences of which each covers a frequency block of 2x5 MHz bandwidth (corresponding to 25 duplex channels of 200 kHz bandwidth each), in the 1739,9 - 1754,9 MHz and 1834,9 - 1849,9 MHz bands based on the criterion of a declared amount in order to obtain significant income of public law nature. This tender is to be announced immediately after completion of the first tender and each of its participants will be able to apply exclusively for one frequency licence in order to avoid anticompetitive spectrum hoarding.

The possibility to submit only one offer in both tenders is meant to make the process of frequency assignment more transparent in order to avoid the situation in which tender participants withdraw from earlier submitted offers and choose them freely when submitting requests for a licence (as in the case of the previous tender for frequencies in the E-GSM band)
" (see UKE's full press release).

Greek draft law extends temporary tv licenses and provides for belated digital switch over

The forthcoming Law (see the draft and preamble) that will address numerous issues in relation to Greece's economic recovery plan, contains a section providing for the extension of the temporary analogue tv licenses. Since the Greek Supreme Administrative Court has held in its decision no. 3578/2010 that the exisiting temporary tv licenses regime is not in line with the Constitution, the State, thus, simply prolongs the period in which tv channels will not have in effect legitimate tv licenses. The new licenses (digital) will be issued and awarded till December 2013, which means, in addition, that Greece will miss the European deadline for the digital swith over.

Friday, 13 January 2012

DCMS launches consultation on mobile coverage

UK Communications Minister launches consultation on not-spots, i.e. spots with no mobile coverage (see DCMS press release).

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Greek Ministry's Decision on rights of way through state property published in the National Gazette

The Greek Ministry's Decision on rights of way through state owned property published in the National Gazette (in greek).

It shall be mentioned that the said ministerial decision was put under consultation in June 2010 (see post). A reason for its swift adoption now, may well be the Reasoned Opinion issued by the European Commission against Greece on the matter of rigths of way three months ago (see post).

AGCOM announces completion of NGN regulatory package

The Italian regulator contends (see the press release, in italian), that with the final determination (not yet available) on the review of the PNIA market (where bitstream and VULA access are foreseen), the NGN regulatory package has been concluded.

AGCOM proposes a Digital Agenda for Italy

In view of the forthcoming liberalisation legislative actions in Italy due to the debt crisis, the Italian regulator, following a relative action by the Italian Competition Authority, proposes a Digital Agenda for Italy (see the report, in italian) as an additional tool that will bring also financial benefits to the state.

OFCOM's second consultation on assessment of future mobile competition and proposals for the award of 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum

"In the March 2011 consultation Ofcom proposed that a special condition should be attached to one of the 800MHz licences, obliging the holder to roll out a 4G network to 95% of the UK population. In October, the Government announced plans to invest £150m to boost mobile coverage in those areas with poor or no mobile service. A significant part of this money is likely to be spent on building new mobile infrastructure in areas of the UK where there is little or no commercial incentive for operators to do so.

Ofcom now believes that the special condition it previously proposed can be strengthened in one of two ways.

The first option is to increase the obligation to 98% of the UK by population. However, the second and potentially more effective option, is to require that one 800MHz operator provides 4G coverage that not only matches existing 2G coverage but also extends into mobile ‘not spot’ areas of the UK where the £150m will provide infrastructure capable of supporting 4G coverage. This may have the potential to extend 4G mobile coverage even further than 98% of the UK by population*. Also, this second option would make it more likely that mobile broadband services would be provided in locations where they could be most valued by consumers, rather than in those areas where it is easiest for a licensee to meet the obligation
" (see OFCOM's relative page).

CAT dismisses Talk Talk's appeal against OFCOM's WBA Charge Control

"Summary:

Judgment of the Tribunal dismissing TalkTalk’s appeal against a determination made by OFCOM contained in a document dated 20 July 2011 and entitled “WBA Charge Control – Charge Control framework for WBA Market 1 Services Statement” (“the WBA Charge Control Decision”).

The main issues considered in the judgment were TalkTalk’s contentions that OFCOM had erred procedurally in failing to take proper steps to satisfy itself that there had been a material change within the meaning of section 86(1)(b) of the Communications Act 2003 (Ground A), and that OFCOM’s decision that there had been no material change within the meaning of section 86(1)(b) was, in substance, wrong (Ground B).

The Tribunal held that OFCOM reached the correct decision when it concluded, in the WBA Charge Control Decision, that there had been no material change within the meaning of section 86(1)(b) of the 2003 Act between the date of the earlier WBA Market Power Determination and the WBA Charge Control Decision. The Tribunal therefore rejected TalkTalk’s Ground B.

The Tribunal also held that where, as in this case, there is a full rehearing by the Tribunal of an issue initially determined by OFCOM and the appellant’s case has received “overall, full and fair consideration” that will, in general, dispose of a challenge based upon deficiencies or alleged deficiencies in OFCOM’s procedure. In the Tribunal’s view this was the short answer to TalkTalk’s Ground A.
"

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

AGCOM consults on Telecom Italia's Reference Offer on WLR

The Italian NRA has launched its consultation as regards the approval of TI's Reference Offer on its wholesale line rental product (see the relevant page, in italian).

AGCOM consults on Telecom Italia's 2012 LLU price cap

The Italian regulator has launched its consultation on TI's price cap as regards the services related to the local loop unbundling product for 2012 (see relevant page, in italian).

Commission adopts Communication on e-commerce

The European Commission adopted the Communication on e-commerce and other online service (see the relevant page and press release).

Commission launches Consultation on the Green Paper on card internet and mobile payments

The European Commission has launched its consultation on the Green Paper on card internet and mobile payments (see relavant page and press release).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

EDPS Inventory 2012 of legislative consultations

The European Data Protection Supervisor, issued its "Inventory 2012 of legislative consultations: a challenging year ahead for data protection in the EU" (see the press release).

French NRA concludes FttH regulatory pack with IRIS mapping and classification

The technical committee set up under the auspices of ARCP has delivered the mapping and classification of the IRIS points.

This work resulted, in particular, "in all of the 4,921 IRIS units in the 148 municipalities that make up the very high-density areas of France being divided into two groups:

- those that correspond to low-density pockets, as defined by the ARCEP recommendation of 14th June 2011, where FTTH rollouts can be performed using a configuration similar to the one chosen for more sparsely populated areas, namely a concentration point that serves at least 300 residential or business premises;

- the other IRIS units, where rollouts are performed using a configuration whereby concentration points are located close to the premises, and possibly at the foot of the building. The network rollouts performed thus far in these areas have proven that a smaller degree of network sharing is economically sustainable.

This mapping process will allow operators, working in tandem with local authorities, to employ the rollout solutions that are best suited to the varying degrees of population density within these very high-density areas
" (see ARCEP's full press release).

Monday, 9 January 2012

Belgian Competition Authority issues fine calculation method

The "Conseil de la concurrence" has adopted its method for calculating fines (see the Communnication, in french).

Belgian NRA accepts Belgacom's proposal providing for access to IPTV platform as an alternative to access to multicast functionality

BIPT accepted (in french) Belgacom's proposal under which access to IPTV platform could be regarded an an alternative to multicast bistream access. However, if access to the mutlicast functionality is deemed eventually as encessary for competition in the market, the NRA may impose that later remedy.

Portuguese NRA releases 2012 - 2014 Management Plan

"ANACOM has released its latest Management Plan, presenting its strategy for its activities over the three-year period 2012-2014 and also its goals for the period and the actions proposed to achieve them. For the 2012-2014 period, keeping costs down remains a focus, given also the implications of the 2012 State Budget" (see full press release).

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to BNetzA on the latter's market definition and SMP assessment of mobile voice call termination market

The European Commission, had no comments to make, in its decision, to the German NRA, on the latter's market definition and SMP assessment of the mobile voice call termination market.

Dispute between Everything Everywhere and BT regarding termination charges for 080 numbers closed by OFCOM

OFCOM closed the dispute case between Everything Everywhere and BT regarding termination charges for 080 numbers, as it considered "that this is now a case in relation to which exceptional circumstances apply in so far as it would not be appropriate to proceed to resolve this dispute at the present time" (see OFCOM's note).

BEREC Consultations

"Today BEREC is launching public consultations on three draft BEREC Reports, as follows:

1. Draft BEREC Report on impact of fixed-mobile substitution in market definition; Deadline for contributions: 10 February 2012. Read the full announcement here.

2. Draft Report on the special rate services; Deadline for contributions: 10 February 2012. Read the full announcement here.

3. Draft Report on competitive effects of NGA co-investments. See technical annexes. Deadline for contributions: 10 March 2012. Read the full announcement here
" (see BEREC's page).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Portuguese regulator consults on its draft decision on reporting security breaches and integrity failures

Portuguese regulator consults on its "draft decision on the circumstances, format and procedure governing the requirements of reporting security breaches and integrity failures with significant impact on the operation of publicly available electronic communication networks and/or services. This draft decision also sets out the conditions by which ANACOM deems whether there is a public interest in the public disclosure of this information and the content, means and schedule of this disclosure" (see the full press release).

European Commission issues Guide on broadband investment

"The European Commission has published a guide for public authorities managing EU funds on the strengths and weaknesses of different models of investment in high speed internet infrastructures. It provides advice to managing authorities and project promoters on the issues that should be considered when planning a public sector investment in broadband infrastructure" (see the relevant page as well).

Belgian NCA approves Phone House's acquisition by Belgacom

The "Conseil de la concurrence" has approved the acquisition of the Phone House, a retail phone shop, by the Belgian incumbent. The conditions set for the acquisition to be approved were mainly that Belgacom had to give away almost half of the Phone House's selling points and that for a period of time the stores will provide other operators' products (see the press release, in french).

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Belgian regulator makes public and consults on the proposed bottom-up cost NGN/NGA models prepared by Analysis Mason

Belgian regulator makes public and consults on the proposed bottom-up cost NGN/NGA models prepared by Analysis Mason (see BIPT's relevant page).

UKE fined PTK for non-fulfilment of its obligation to obtain consent to using automated calling systems for the purposes of direct marketing

"The President of UKE has imposed a penalty of PLN 5 million on PTK for non-fulfilment of its obligation to obtain the PTK telecommunications network subscribers' or end users' consent to using automated calling systems for the purposes of direct marketing" (see the Polish NRA's press release).

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Belgian NRA on the latter's technical details determination regarding the obligation of CPE connectivity

The European Commission had no comments to make, in its decision, to BIPT on the latter's determination of the technical details, concerning the obligation imposed under the wholesale broadband acess market review, regarding issues of connetivity and safety of alternative operators' Customer Premises Equipment (modems) to the incumbent's network.

"These additional technical conditions are necessary to ensure that the introduction of the CPEs of alternative operators on the incumbent’s network will not jeopardize the proper functioning of the latter, the integrity of its network and its evolution. It also defines the respective responsibilities of the incumbent and the alternative operators regarding the CPE. Finally, IBPT has aimed to ensure that alternative operators do not have to comply with unnecessary or disproportionate conditions to put their own CPEs in place".

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the German NRA on the latter's 2nd review of the wholesale leased lines market

The European Commission had no comments to make, in its decision, to the German NRA on the latter's 2nd review of the wholesale leased lines market and specifically on BNetzA's market definition and three criteria test.

The regulator defined "the market for wholesale terminating segments of leased lines so as to comprise all leased line connections, which are not attributable to the long-distance/core network segments ... as well as Ethernet-based interfaces ..." and the wholesale "terminating segments that are part of so-called 'system solutions' (i.e. made to order bundled business products)...". Dark fibre products were excluded from the market definition based on national market circumstances.

BNetzA divided the relevant market into four segments according to bandwidth:

(i) analogue terminating segments and segments with a bandwidth of less than 2 Mbit/s which was found not to fulfill the three-criteria test;
(ii) terminating segments with a bandwidth of 2 Mbit/s up to and including10 Mbit/s and
(iii) terminating segments with a bandwidth of more than 10 Mbit/s up to and including 155 Mbit/s10 which were found to fulfill the test; and finally
(iv) terminating segments with a bandwidth of more than 155 Mbit/sn that was found not to meet the requirements of the three-criteria test.

Spanish Competition Authority opens investigation against mobile operators for suspected abuse of their dominant position

CNC has openned an investigation procedure against Telefonica Moviles, Vodafone and Orange following a complaint by BT Global and BT Spain alleging abuse by the abovementioned mobile operators of their dominant position (see the press release, in spanish).

Prior notification of Sony Ericsson acquisition by Ericsson

The Commission has received a prior notification of concetration by which the undertaking Sony Corporation acquires, within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Merger Regulation, control of the whole of the undertaking Sony Ericsson Mobile Communication AB by way of purchase of shares.

Bulgarian NRA issues and awards mobile licenses in freed 1800 MHz

CRC has issued and awarded licenses in the 1800 MHz band to "Max Telecom OOD", "4G Com EAD" and "Bulsatcom AD" which will provide electronic communications services in this range for a period of 10 years.

"In line with the Law on Electronic Communications (LEC) and following the policy of the EU for effective management of the radio frequency spectrum, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) finalized the procedure by which it announced its intention to issue authorizations for use of 2 х 5 MHz and 2 х 8 MHz in the range 1800 MHz for carrying out public electronic communications through a mobile terrestrial network with a national coverage.

In the determined time-limit, intentions for issuance of authorizations by five undertakings have been received in the regulator, three of which confirmed their willingness to use the resource: "Max telecom OOD" (for use of resource of 2 x 8 MHz), "4G Com EAD" (for 2 x 8 MHz) and "Bulsatcom AD" (for 2 x 5 MHz). After an analysis showing that the announced free scarce resource is sufficient for use by all parties, which have filed their applications, the requests have been satisfied by the CRC. In connection with this, the Commission took a decision to issue to the three undertakings authorizations for carrying out public electronic communications through a mobile terrestrial network in the range 1800 MHz for a period of 10 years.

The range 1800 MHz might be used for a construction of GSM, UMTS, LTE and WiMAX mobile terrestrial networks. The choice of the type of network and the respective services is subject to a business strategy and a decision of the operators themselves
" (see the full press release).

Bulgarian NRA launches second round of consultations for its review of markets of mobile and fixed call origination and termination

Due to the issues raised under the first round of consultations, CRC has launched a second round of consultations on its review of the market of mobile call origination and termination (see the press release) and that of fixed call origination and termination (see the press release).

Romanian regulator extends mobile licenses and plans first auction in 2012

"The Authority decided to open for tender in 2012 all the radio frequencies available in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands, which are currently used by Cosmote, Orange and Vodafone.

Moreover, ANCOM will take all necessary steps in order to free and open for tender the 800 and 2600 MHz bands, which currently are partially used by the Ministry of National Defense.

In order to ensure continuous provision of mobile communications services, ANCOM has decided to extend the licences of Orange and Vodafone until the 31st of December 2012, while the new licences are to enter into force on the 1st of January 2013, for the bands currently owned byOrange Romania and Vodafone Romania and, respectively, on the 6th of April 2014, for the bands currently owned by Cosmote
".

The regulator has approved also its draft 2012 Anual Plan and set it under consultation (see the press release and an older post on the consultation).

Spanish regulator approves universal service net cost

CMT has approved the universal service's net cost (see the Authority's blog, in spanish).