MarketReviewsCommsBillBulletin

25 July 2003

Simon Topping

From today (25th July 2003), NRAs may only impose regulatory obligations on the activities of operators in those markets which are defined in the Commission’s Recommendation of 11th February 2003, on relevant product and service markets (2003/311/EC). Exceptionally, additional markets may be defined, but only on the basis of extensive, transparent consultation where inter-state trade is affected, including a European Commission right of veto of the relevant proposed measure.

The permissible markets and the obligations which may be imposed within them are described below.

Retail level

1. Access to the public telephone network at a fixed location for residential customers.

2. Access to the public telephone network at a fixed location for non-residential customers.

3. Publicly available local and/or national telephone services provided at a fixed location for residential customers.

4. Publicly available international telephone services provided at a fixed location for residential customers.

5. Publicly available local and/or national telephone services provided at a fixed location for non-residential customers.

6. Publicly available international telephone services provided at a fixed location for non-residential customers.

These six markets are identified for the purpose of analysis in respect of Article 17 of the Universal Service Directive. Together, markets 1 through 6 correspond to ‘the provision of connection to and use of the public telephone network at fixed locations’, referred to in Annex I(1) of the Framework Directive. This combined market is also referred to in Article 19 of the Universal Service Directive (for possible imposition of carrier call-by-call selection or carrier selection).

7. The minimum set of leased lines (which comprises the specified types of leased lines up to and including 2Mb/sec as referenced in Article 18 and Annex VII of the Universal Service Directive).

This market is referred to in Annex I(1) of the Framework Directive in respect of Article 16 of the Universal Service Directive (the provision of leased lines to end users).

A market analysis must be undertaken for the purposes of Article 18 of the Universal Service Directive which covers regulatory controls on the provision of the minimum set of leased lines.

Wholesale level

8. Call origination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location. For the purposes of this Recommendation, call origination is taken to include local call conveyance and delineated in such a way as to be consistent with the delineated boundaries for the markets for call transit and for call termination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location.

This market corresponds to that referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC (call origination in the fixed public telephone network).

9. Call termination on individual public telephone networks provided at a fixed location. For the purposes of this Recommendation, call termination is taken to include local call conveyance and delineated in such a way as to be consistent with the delineated boundaries for the markets for call origination and for call transit on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location.

This market corresponds to the one referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC (call termination in the fixed public telephone network).

10. Transit services in the fixed public telephone network. For the purposes of this Recommendation, transit services are taken as being delineated in such a way as to be consistent with the delineated boundaries for the markets for call origination and for call termination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location. This market corresponds to the one referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC (transit services in the fixed public telephone network).

11. Wholesale unbundled access (including shared access) to metallic loops and sub-loops for the purpose of providing broadband and voice services.

This market corresponds to that referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC and Directive 98/10/EC (access to the fixed public telephone network, including unbundled access to the local loop) and to that referred to in Annex I (3) of the Framework Directive in respect of Regulation No 2887/2000.

12. Wholesale broadband access. This market covers ‘bit-stream’ access that permit the transmission of broadband data in both directions and other wholesale access provided over other infrastructures, if and when they offer facilities equivalent to bit-stream access. It includes ‘Network access and special network access’ referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive, but does not cover the market in point 11 above, nor the market in point 18.

13. Wholesale terminating segments of leased lines.

14. Wholesale trunk segments of leased lines.

Together, the wholesale markets 13 and 14 correspond to those referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC and Directive 98/10/EC (leased line interconnection) and to those referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 92/44/EEC (wholesale provision of leased line capacity to other suppliers of electronic communications networks or services).

15. Access and call origination on public mobile telephone networks, referred to (separately) in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directives 97/33/EC and 98/10/EC.

16. Voice call termination on individual mobile networks.

This market corresponds to the one referred to in Annex I(2) of the Framework Directive in respect of Directive 97/33/EC (call termination on public mobile telephone networks).

17. The wholesale national market for international roaming on public mobile networks.

This market corresponds to the one referred to in Annex I(4) of the Framework Directive.

18. Broadcasting transmission services, to deliver broadcast content to end users.

Note

National regulatory authorities have discretion to maintain certain specified obligations relating to conditional access system to digital television and radio services broadcast, irrespective of the means of transmission, and can apply these obligations whether or not there are any operators with significant market power, according to Article 6(1) of the Access Directive. On the other hand, they can only remove these requirements where they assess that there are no operators with significant market power (Article 6(3))

Each NRA will conduct a review of the state of competition in each of these markets. Where the conclusion is reached that there is no effective competition and that one or more operators have Significant Market Power, the NRA will consider whether it should impose regulatory obligations on one or more operators.

The obligations which may be imposed are limited to those described in the new rules, which also contain principles for assessment as to which type of obligation or "remedy" can be imposed.

Only operators who are considered to have 'Significant Market Power' or 'SMP' or who control access to customers, may be subject to detailed regulatory obligations.

SMP is identified in a similar way to the competition law concept of dominance, according to Article 14 of the Framework Directive, and the assessment is to be made taking account of the Commission Guidelines on market analysis and the assessment of significant market power under the Community regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services:

Commission Guidelines.

NRAs are required to consult each other and the Commission, before adopting market reviews and imposing obligations on operators, and consistency between them is strongly encouraged.