Annual report 2012

Regulation of electronic communications

Changes in EU regulations

On 28 March 2012 members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council and the European Commission reached a preliminary agreement on new EU roaming rules, which follows the European Commission's proposal from 2011. The new rules, which further lower the prices of calls and allow consumers to select the best roaming provider, entered into force on 1 July 2012.


Slovenia

Regulatory developments

The National Assembly adopted the Electronic Communications Act (ZEKom) at the end of December 2012. During the drafting of the act, Telekom Slovenije worked with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia by submitting initiatives for changes that were addressed to the working bodies of the parliament. The new act represents the harmonization of national legislation with the EU regulatory framework.

The Post and Electronics Communications Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (hereinafter: the Agency) formed an expert project team in 2012 to address the issue of the future use of the frequency spectrum. Based on the resulting points of departure, in 2013 the Agency will draft the bases for a national strategy, based on which it will draft a public tender for the allocation of frequencies.

Relevant markets

  • The Agency published an analysis of market 1 - Access to the public telephone network at a fixed location (retail market) last November. A decision is expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2013.
  • In accordance with the relevant decision, the prices of call termination in the mobile network were reduced on 1 July 2012, while international roaming prices were cut on the basis of the relevant regulation of the European Parliament.
  • The Agency carried out a new analysis of market 15 Access to and call forwarding from public mobile telephone networks (inter-operator market) in June, in which it determined that the conditions for the continued regulation of the market were no longer met. With its decision issued on 18 September, the Agency officially deregulated the market, effective 3 October 2012.
  • On 29 February 2012 the Agency halted two supervisory procedures that it had initiated with the aim of supervising the fulfilment of price control and cost accounting obligations in connection with the prices of access to the mobile network and call and SMS forwarding, and in connection with the fulfilment of the obligation to ensure a transparent breakdown of the sample offer on market 15.


Kosovo

Regulatory developments

Ipko submitted several remarks and comments to the Ministry of Economic Development during the drafting of the Electronic Communications Act in Kosovo. The act was passed in October and entered into force on 27 November 2012.

The Assembly of Kosovo passed a resolution on 6 September 2012 regarding the new county code. In accordance with the aforementioned resolution, the government of the Republic of Kosovo must issue a decree that will replace the existing codes used in Kosovo with the Albanian country code, 355.

Relevant markets

  • In the decision of 29 February 2012, PTK was identified as an operator with significant market power on seven analysed markets: access to the public telephone network, publicly accessible national services, publicly accessible international services, call forwarding in the fixed network, call termination in the fixed network, transit services and unbundled access.
  • Ipko was identified as an operator with significant market power on the market for call termination in the fixed network. The following obligations were imposed on the company by decision: the obligation to facilitate access, the obligation to ensure equal treatment, the obligation to ensure transparency, the obligation to separate accounting records, the obligation of price control and the prohibition of cross subsidies. Ipko published its RIO reference offer on 29 May 2012. On 10 July 2012 the regulatory agency (TRA) requested that Ipko adapt its sample offer within 10 days.

Other proceedings before the regulatory agency

  • The regulatory agency adopted the Regulation on rights of way and the common use of the infrastructure during the first quarter of the year. The aforementioned regulation sets out the bases for the use of the public infrastructure and attempts to promote its efficient use. During the adoption process, Ipko submitted its own remarks, the majority of which were taken into consideration.
  • On 11 October 2012 the regulatory agency sent an official letter relating to the dispute between Ipko and PTK regarding the level of call termination prices. Ipko is requesting a reduction in the price of call termination in the mobile and fixed networks and the rejection of the introduction of a price for SMS charging, while PTK is requesting the exact opposite.


Macedonia

Regulatory developments

Amendments to the Electronic Communications Act were published at the beginning of the year. The amendments include the possibility of using the AEK’s unexploited budgetary funds for the purpose of developing the information society and for other purposes in the interest of the state, the obligation of operators to facilitate free SMSs for the purpose of developing tourism, and the expansion of the AEK’s powers with regard to the control and measurement of quality parameters and non-ionising radiation.

Relevant markets

  • The AEK analysed and updated the calculation of regulated prices on several markets. Changes are expected during the second half of the year.
  • The AEK completed the third phase of its analysis of market 12 Call termination in mobile networks on 10 April 2012. T-Mobile, One and VIP were once again identified as operators with significant market power. The most significant change occurred in the prices of call termination.

Other proceedings before the regulatory agency

Following a public tender for two DVB-T MUXs, One was allocated both DVB-T MUXs for the purpose of retransmitting national programmes.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Regulatory developments

In June 2012 the RAK (hereinafter: the Agency) adopted and published the General Act on the Portability of Numbers. The most significant change was the shortening of the voice warning from 30 seconds to a maximum of four seconds.

Relevant markets

Pursuant to the decision of 18 September 2012, BH Telecom, Telekom Srpske and Hrvatski Telekom were identified as operators with significant market power on the markets of fixed telephony services, mobile telephony services and leased lines.

Other proceedings before the regulatory agency

The main proceedings in the dispute between Aneks and BH Telecom due to restrictions regarding the capacity of network interconnections took place at the Agency in April, while the proceedings regarding the request to expand network interconnection were held in June 2012. The first proceedings were concluded in May, and the Agency's decision is expected soon. The second proceedings were postponed for 45 days in June. The aforementioned proceedings continue due to the unacceptable proposal submitted by Telekom Srpske.

Preliminary proceedings took place between Aneks and Telekom Srpske in September regarding accusations by Aneks of the abuse of a dominant market position, price scissoring and other unlawful acts. Proceedings continued in October before the District Commercial Court in Banja Luka.

Significant proceedings before the courts and other competition protection bodies

In 2012 there were seven significant proceedings against Telekom Slovenije before the Competition Protection Office (CPO) to determine the alleged abuse of its dominant position. No new proceedings were initiated against Telekom Slovenije in 2012.

The CPO issued decisions in the following significant proceedings in 2012:

  • a decision on the determination of the abuse of a dominant position with respect to the Itak Džabest package of mobile services, against which Telekom Slovenije initiated proceedings before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia, as it believes it did not commit the alleged breach; and
  • a resolution halting the proceedings to determine the alleged abuse of a dominant position due to the alleged blocking of call termination on the +386 43 and +386 49 number blocks against Telekom Slovenije (formerly Mobitel) based on allegation by Akton.

Telekom Slovenije is also party to several significant proceedings before the courts in which it received the following decisions in 2012:

  • the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia ruled in favour of Telekom Slovenije’s request for review in the matter of the free allocation of UMTS frequencies to Tušmobil. As a result, the APEK must repeat the procedure;   
  • the Higher Court ruled to reject the complaint lodged by Sinfonika, d. d. (in bankruptcy) against Telekom Slovenije for the payment of damages owing to the abuse of its dominant position with the introduction of Centrex services and the charging of DDI. The decision is final;
  • a ruling from the Ljubljana District Court to pay damages to the plaintiff ABM, d. o. o. Telekom Slovenije has filed an appeal against the ruling;
  • a partial interim decision in the commercial dispute between SKY NET, d. o. o., as the plaintiff, and Telekom Slovenije (previously Mobitel), as the defendant, in which the court rules that a legal basis exists for the court’s decision on part of the plaintiff’s claim. Telekom Slovenije has filed an appeal against the decision; and  
  • a ruling from the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia rejecting the review of the proceedings in which the CPO issued a decision with respect to K2.net, d. o. o., Ljubljana and Quantum, d. o. o., Ljubljana.