Mobile market is not competitive - UKE

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Mobile market is not competitive

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2005-09-20

The national market for access and call origination in public mobile telephone networks is not effectively competitive as stated in the ruling of the President of URTiP.

The ruling enables the President of URTiP to draft in the next stage a decision designating undertakings with SMP and imposing regulatory obligations on them, including obligations for the provision of mobile networks for the purposes of national roaming in GSM and UMTS networks.

The position of the President of URTiP stating that the national market for access and call origination in public mobile telephone networks in not effectively competitive was sustained by the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection.

There are currently 3 operators: Polkomtel S.A., Polska Telefonia Komórkowa Centertel Sp. z o.o., Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa Sp. z o.o. active on the Polish market for access and call origination in public mobile telephone networks. The President of URTiP concluded that the infrastructure controlled by these three operators is a significant and non-transitory barrier to market entry.

Access to infrastructure is necessary in order to operate in the market. In addition, it is hard to duplicate the existing infrastructure for economic and technical reasons resulting from the construction law as well as from town and country planning. With the current network density it may be more difficult to place the equipment necessary to operate because of the absence of conditions enabling uninterrupted infrastructure duplication.

The above mentioned circumstances indicate that entry on the Polish market for access and call origination in public mobile telephone networks is very difficult. For about 9 years not a single new operator has entered the market, although the level of market penetration in the past years was low. This enabled the existing operators to gain clients relatively easily.

As early as this year a new mobile operator Netia Mobile Sp. z o.o., which won the tender for a frequency reservation in the UMTS system, will start to operate. The tender procedure for a frequency reservation in the GSM 1800 system as a result of which a new operator may be selected will be also commenced this year. It can be expected that new entrants may face problems with access to infrastructure necessary to provide mobile services.

Thus, the situation on the market shows that it is a good moment to intensify regulatory action of the President of URTiP. This action is also desired because there are still no active MVNOs which in order to start their activity must be provided with network access.

From 10 August to 9 September 2005 the President of URTiP held consultations of a draft ruling stating that the national market for access and call origination in public mobile telephone networks is not effectively competitive.

Within the framework of consultations URTiP received 9 opinions submitted by:

  • Tele2 Polska Sp. z o.o.
  • Netia Mobile Sp. z o.o.
  • Netia S.A.
  • The Centre for Regulatory Studies
  • Polkomtel S.A.
  • PTC Sp. z o.o.
  • Telekomunikacja Polska S.A.
  • The Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunication (KIGEiT)
  • PTK Centertel Sp. z o.o.

The comments of the telecommunications circles which were taken into account by the President of URTiP were included in the final version of the ruling.

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