Monthly Archives: January 2003

AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ beveik 70 proc. padidino tarptautinio interneto tinklo pralaidą

Didžiausia šalies telekomunikacijų bendrovė AB „Lietuvos telekomas” apie 68 proc. padidino  prisijungimo prie įmonės „TeliaSonera“ interneto tinklo (IP) kanalų pralaidą.  Dabar bendra prisijungimo prie tarptautinių interneto tinklų kanalų pralaida yra 415 Mb/s.
„Augantis interneto vartotojų skaičius bei didėjantys jų poreikiai mus įpareigoja nuolat gerinti paslaugų kokybę. Išplėtę prisijungimo prie tarptautinio tinklo kanalų pralaidą ir toliau išliekame lyderiu tarp Lietuvos interneto ryšio teikėjų“, – sako  AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ Didmeninės prekybos departamento direktorius Darius Didžgalvis.
Pasak jo, dėl per praėjusius metus išaugusio „Lietuvos telekomo” mažmeninių paslaugų vartotojų skaičiaus interneto tinklo pralaidos poreikiai padidėjo net du kartus. 2002 metų pabaigoje vien asimetrinių skaitmeninių abonento linijų (ADSL) technologija pagrįstų paslaugų vartotojų skaičius pasiekė dešimt tūkstančių.
Per 2002 metus AB „Lietuvos telekomas” didmeninių paslaugų rinkoje parduodama tarptautinio interneto tinklo pralaida išaugo 90 procentų.
Violeta Ulevičienė,
Informacijos skyriaus viršininkė,
(8~5) 236 76 79

The regulatory situation in Baltic countries – Estonia

Telecommunication market

In general the telecommunication market in Estonia can be described as competitive, with Eesti Telefon as the incumbent operator, which provides a variety of fixed-telecommunication services.

Following the liberalisation, the Estonian telecommunication market has been fully open since January 2001. Temporary measures introduced at the start of 2001 to remedy very high interconnection fees have been scrapped and a cost-orientation model (LRAIC) was introduced from January 2002.

Eesti Telefon has been declared the undertaking with significant market power (SMP) on the telephone service, leased-line service and interconnection service markets. Eesti Telefon is owned 100% by Eesti Telekom, which is a holding company, where Telia and Sonera are the major shareholders next to the Republic of Estonia and the public.

Regarding leased lines for research networks the market is dominated by Eesti Telefon, however in this segment there are a few other operators present in Estonia today, which provide different leased-line services: Uninet, Eesti Energia and Microlink Online. In addition it should be mentioned that on many routes Eesti Telefon is the only provider.

The following list prices regarding leased lines refer to basic services provided by the incumbent operator and are standard prices excluding any discounts and VAT [1st report on Monitoring of EU candidate countries, Telecommunication service sector]:

429 euro regarding a 64 kb/s, 2 km national circuit
30,360 euro for a 2 Mb/s, 200 km national circuit.

In Estonia there are around 14 personal computers per 100 inhabitants and Internet penetration is around 39%. There are several ISPs in Estonia. Local authorities have established a number of local radio-based networks. These networks are used for provision of local access to the Internet.

In Estonia there are three mobile network operators: EMT, Radiolinja Eesti and Tele2 Eesti. The mobile penetration is around 61%, whereas the fixed-phone penetration is just about 35%.

Regulatory regime

The Estonian National Communication Board (ENCB) is a fully independent regulatory authority, with licensing power. ENCB operates under the administrative authority of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and its main activities are:

  • regulation of activities of telecommunication network operators and service providers
    · management and use of limited telecommunications resources
    · implementing government supervision over requirements to operations of telecommunications networks and provision of telecommunications services in terms of performance
    · licensing and supervision of cable distribution networks.

For performing these activities and other tasks the ENCB had a budget of 38 million EEK (1 euro = 15.656 EEK) in 2002 and around 135 employees. The ENCB is funded by the government but is independent of the Ministry, and the Ministry is not able to interfere in decisions taken by the ENCB. Today the ENCB is 95% in compliance with EU legislation and they are currently working on implementation of the new EU telecom package.

The purpose of the new Telecommunication Act was to create favourable conditions for the development of telecommunications and to guarantee the protection of the users of telecommunications services by promoting free competition. Furthermore the Telecommunication Act establishes the requirements for telecommunications networks, the provision of telecommunication services and procedures for government supervision.

The Telecommunications Act was passed by the Estonian government in February 2000 and entered into force in March 2000, setting the basis for the liberalisation of the telecommunications market in Estonia. Since 1 January 2001, the special rights of Eesti Telekom have ended and the Estonian telecommunications market is fully open.

The ENCB has completed the initial wave of dispute resolutions that typically is associated with effective opening of a market. In addition to this, a cost-orientation approach regarding telecommunications services was put into practice fully from January 2002. As a result of a telecommunications market analysis, the ENCB declared Eesti Telefon the undertaking with significant market power on the telephone service, leased-line service and interconnection service market, and declared EMT to be the enterprise with significant market power in the public mobile phones market.

Based on the telecommunications legislation, inspection of cost accounting is one of the tasks that the ENCB has to perform. This means that the ENCB in accordance with the Telecommunication Act can request operators of public telecommunications networks that have been declared the undertaking with SMP to provide an audited report on the cost accounting of their telecommunications services, and thereby inspect the cost accounting and fees, and if necessary regulate these. This change also requires the undertaking with SMP regarding interconnection to interconnect and provide interconnection service to other operators.

The interconnection market included only one undertaking with SMP (Eesti Telefon), which in 2001 provided interconnection services to ten operators. During 2001 the rates of the interconnection service of Eesti Telefon were lowered by approximately 50% on the basis of the changed Telecommunication Act. In addition Eesti Telekom has been forced to provide interconnection service at the local level based on a ruling from the ENCB as a result of an interconnection dispute.

According to the ENCB everybody can operate a telecommunications network and get interconnection if the company has an address and is registered in Estonia – all that is needed is a registration or license depending on the kind of network, which normally is available within 4-6 weeks.

Regarding rights of ways no access to public or private ways are legally granted in Estonia.

On 1 January 2001, the Estonian telecommunications market opened up for competition and therefore also for the use of operator codes. Several companies applied for this service to the ENCB and received the corresponding permits. LLU is not legally compulsory at the moment and there is no date on when LLU is expected to be legally compulsory. Nevertheless there are currently more than 900 unbundled lines of the SMP.

Today Eesti Telefon is the primary provider of local-loop services. The charge for raw copper calculated by use of the LRAIC model has resulted in a price that is higher than the rate for subscription. It is therefore difficult for new entrants to compete with Eesti Telefon on this market segment.

National research and education network

The Estonian Education and Research Network (EENet) is a governmental non-profit organisation established in August 1993 by the Ministry of Education and is today a public institution operating under the administration of the Ministry of Education. Currently there are about six thousand hosts in the national network and it extends to every county in Estonia. EENet’s main task is to offer Internet connection (permanent links or dial-ups) as well as additional services. In addition EENet manages the Estonian top-level domain (.ee).

The EENet is built with Tallinn, Tartu and Haapsalu as centres of a ‘three-star’ network connecting to all major cities in Estonia and with a 155 Mb/s connection from Tallinn to Stockholm to the GÉANT network. The current capacity of 155 Mb/s available through the GÉANT network is enough for the time being, but in 3-5 years time it is estimated that the capacity should be 600 Mb/s – 2.5 Gb/s. The split between international and national traffic is currently around 50/50, whereas four years ago the split was around 60% for international and 40% for national, but due to the fact that more webpages are becoming available in the national language, the national traffic has been and still is growing faster than the international traffic.

During 2002, EENet switched from using Eesti Telecom for leased-lines services for the backbone topology to mostly using Eesti Energia for leased lines, as they has entered into the leased-line market with very attractive prices.

As of March 2002, 208,000 persons were registered as users of EENet, which include different kinds of students as well as staff. 600-700 customers have a permanent connection to EENet, whereas the rest uses various kinds of dialup/radio connections.

Besides the already connected entities, EENet estimates that around 1500 entities that are not connected would qualify for connection, but for these entities the price of getting connected and obtaining the equipment necessary to make the connection possible is a major obstacle.

Overall the Estonian national research and education network has not encountered any significant regulation problems/obstacles regarding the development and maintenance of the network. ENCB intervenes in the setting of prices for leased lines, but EENet is sceptical about the ability of the regulator to ensure lower rates, e.g. through interconnection regulation. The only major regulatory obstacle that EENet has had, is related to the power limits in radio networks regarding transmission effects.

At present EENet uses the 2.4 GHz ISM band, where there is no licensing or regulation obligations and in addition, the equipment to be used in this frequency band is also fairly cheap, compared to equipment for other frequencies – according to EENet. EENet would also like to use more powerful transmitters using the 3.5 GHz band, if they could afford to buy the necessary equipment.

When a license is needed for a specific frequency band or for operating a network, the procedure can be described as relatively slow – but the price for obtaining the specific license is relatively low.

The EENet budget for 2002, of approximately 1.15 million euro, can be divided as follows: salaries and office costs 25%, hardware and software 15%, transmission (leasing lines) 60%.

Center for Tele-Information (CTI), Technical University of Denmark

 

The regulatory situation in Baltic countries – Lithuania

Telecommunications market

In general the telecommunication market in Lithuania can be described as monopolistic regarding fixed lines, with Lithuanian Telecom as the incumbent operator, but fairly competitive within the mobile market where there are three major operators.

The former state telephone monopoly and one of the largest companies in Lithuania, Lithuanian Telecom was privatised in 1998; however the company enjoyed exclusive rights to the fixed-line and domestic long-distance services until the liberalisation of the Lithuanian telecommunication market started in January 2003. Lithuanian Telecom has a noticeable indirect influence on the telecommunication market in Lithuania as all fixedtelecommunications service providers are forced to get interconnection at the incumbent at wholesale prices and at the same time compete with the incumbent for end-customers. An important event for the Lithuanian telecommunications market was the launch of DSL services during 2001; unfortunately the monopolistic rights of the incumbent operator have impeded the general development of the telecommunication market.

The following list prices regarding leased lines refer to basic services provided by the incumbent operator and are standard prices excluding any discounts and VAT [1st report on Monitoring of EU candidate countries, Telecommunication service sector]:

1,674 euro regarding a 64 kb/s, 2 km national circuit

26,780 euro for a 2 Mb/s, 200 km national circuit.

There are three GSM mobile operators in Lithuania: Bite GSM, Omnitel and Tele2. Bite GSM is a subsidiary of TeleDenmark, Omnitel is owned by TeliaSonera (55%), Motorola (35%) and others (10%), and Tele2 is owned by Tele2 AB in Sweden.

The number of fixed telephone lines per 100 inhabitants is around 34 and Internet penetration is around 14%, but there are only about 6 Internet subscribers per 100 inhabitants. There were approximately 7 personal computers per 100 inhabitants in 2001. Concerning mobile communications the penetration is just above 40%, which means that the mobile penetration is higher than the fixed-line penetration.

Regulation regime

The principal institutions involved in regulating telecommunications in Lithuania are the government, the Ministry of Communications and the Communications Regulatory Agency (CRA), where the CRA is the telecommunication market regulator.

The law amending the Telecommunications law was adopted in July 2002; it specifies the functions of the CRA and simplifies access to the telecommunications market. The new Law on Telecommunications should implement the currently applicable EU telecommunications regulatory package (the changes of the new EU regulatory package of 2002 will probably not be covered) and accommodate the legal environment for the liberalisation of the telecommunications market from 2003.

The Communications Regulatory Authority was officially registered on May 1st, 2001 and started activities during June and July 2001. Lithuania has undertaken to ensure full compliance of its telecommunications legislation with EU regulation by January 2004. The CRA is set up as an independent governmental institution charged with the functions of regulating the telecommunications market and with reference to the Ministry of Communications.

The main tasks of the CRA are set out in the Law on Telecommunications to ensure among other things:
· fair and non-discriminatory conditions for operators, especially with regard to interconnection of networks
· equal non-discriminatory consumer access to public telecommunications networks and services.

The CRA functions defined in the Law on Telecommunications provide the authority among other things with the responsibility to:

· issue authorisations for telecommunications activities that do not require licences, establish the authorisation procedure;
· adopt regulations for the construction, use and protection of public networks, general terms for interconnection, dispute settlement on interconnection and rules for joint use of facilities;
· determine price caps in cases prescribed by the Law;
· approve model agreements between telecommunications service providers and consumers, regulations on service provision;
· examine disputes with regard to network interconnection and joint use of facilities.

With the full liberalisation of the telecommunications market beginning January 2003, the function of the CRA will be to ensure a clearly defined fair competitive situation in the telecommunications service market both for new entrants and incumbents, as well as consumer interests and efficient use of telecommunications resources.

Currently all telecommunications activities and services are open to competition except for the operation of a public fixed telecommunications network and provision of fixed-telephony services over it. According to the Law on Telecommunications, until 31 December 2002 additional licences or authorisations, which would change the conditions of the incumbent’s operations, could not be issued.

The Communications Regulatory Authority is authorised to approve the general terms and conditions of agreements on interconnection of telecommunications networks and the procedure for the settlement of disputes regarding interconnection. In addition, interconnection agreements are registered at the Communications Regulatory Authority and are public, except for commercially confidential information.

According to the Law on Telecommunications, public telecommunications networks must satisfy requests of other licensed telecommunications operators to interconnect public or private telecommunications networks. The request to interconnect may not be rejected if it is reasonable and technically feasible. The networks must be interconnected within three months from the date of a relevant request. Refusal to interconnect must be motivated and it must be submitted to the requesting operator and the Communications Regulatory Authority. In case of a dispute (due to refusal or inability of the parties to agree on interconnection of the networks in due time), either party may apply to the Communications Regulatory Authority. The Communications Regulatory Authority investigates the dispute and must adopt a decision within two months from the date of application.

As Lithuania Telecom had exclusive rights to fixed lines until January 2003, local-loop unbundling also remained to be achieved, but was scheduled to be compulsory from January 2003 in connection with the full liberalisation of the Lithuanian telecommunications market. In addition to this both public and private ways30 have been legally granted (Rights of Way).

National research and education network

The Academic Research Network in Lithuania (LITNET) is an association of academic research institutes and other non-profit organisations, where the members use, manage and develop the LITNET network. The highest governing body of LITNET is the LITNET Board whose structure and regulations are confirmed by the Ministry of Science and Education in Lithuania. It is also the Ministry of Science and Education that financially supports LITNET.

LITNET is a national network, which interconnects al major Lithuanian cities and the local education and research institutions, schools etc. The main goal of LITNET is to provide advanced and high-quality Internetworking services to all kinds of education establishments in Lithuania. Due to these restrictions in the use of LITNET, LITNET service is only available for:

· higher education and colleges
· research institutions
· medical research
· national and local libraries
· primary and secondary schools
· national and local museums.

All fifteen universities in Lithuania are connected to LITNET and over 320 entities are connected through a permanent connection, either directly or through regional networks; almost 100,000 students are given Internet access through LITNET.

The LITNET core network can be described as a star-network, with Kaunas as the centre. Between the five major connection points in the core network the capacity is 155 Mb/s, whereas minor connection points have a 4 Mb/s or 1 Mb/s connection capacity.

LITNET has two international connections: one through GÉANT which operates at 155 Mb/s and one through Delfi Internet at 4 Mb/s. LITNET expects the access capacity to be upgraded to 622 Mb/s in the first half of 2003 and furthermore to upgrade this capacity several times within the next few years.

The LITNET budget 2002 is approximately 3.2 million euro, which can roughly be divided as follows: salaries and office costs 10%, hardware and software 23%, transmission of data 57%, other 10%.

_________________________________________
30 1st Report on Monitoring of EU Candidate Countries (Telecommunication Service Sector).

Center for Tele-Information (CTI), Technical University of Denmark

The regulatory situation in Baltic countries – Latvia

Telecommunication market

The telecommunication market in Latvia can be characterised as predominantly monopolistic, with Lattelekom as the incumbent fixed operator. The company provides a large variety of services, from fixed telecommunications to data transmission, leased lines and Internet.

According to the legislation of the Republic of Latvia, Lattelekom had been granted exclusive rights to provide telecommunication services in Latvia until 1 January 2003. Regarding data and Internet services the market is dominated by four ISP’s: LATNET, Lattelekom (Apollo), Microlink Data (Delfi) and Telia Latvija, which together have a market share of approximately 75-80%. Overall there are around 30 ISP companies in Latvia, offering different kinds of services; currently the Internet penetration in Latvia is around 10%.

For leased lines and interconnection also railway and energy companies are providing service on a smaller scale, however these are limited by the existing monopoly operator Lattelekom, which by far is the largest provider of these services. The following list prices regarding leased lines refer to basic services provided by the incumbent operator and are standard prices excluding any discounts and VAT [1st report on Monitoring of EU candidate countries, Telecommunication service sector]:

2,000 euro regarding a 64 kb/s, 2 km national circuit

8,000 euro for a 2 Mb/s, 200 km national circuit

131,000 euro for a 2 Mb/s, 200 km international circuit.

In Latvia there are two mobile network operators (Tele2 and LMT), which each operate a 900 and 1800 GSM network, and both operators will acquire UMTS licences. A third licence for GSM and UMTS has not yet been issued. The mobile penetration in Latvia is approximately 30% and the fixed-network penetration around 32%.

Regulatory regime

Until July 2001 several institutions performed the regulation of public utilities in Latvia. The Energy Regulation Council was responsible for regulating the energy sector. The Telecommunication Tariffs Council carried out regulation in the telecommunications sector. The Communications Department of the Ministry of Transport regulated the postal sector and the Railway Administration regulated the railway sector.

Practical experience showed that the regulation was rather inefficient due to the fragmented institutions and limited resources available. Moreover, such regulation system did not ensure an independent decision-making process. In order to change the situation and improve the regulatory system, an  institutional reform was implemented, changing the public-utilities regulatory model.

In January 1997 the government made the decision to set up a unified regulating institution in the energy, telecommunications, postal and railway sectors. After a four-year period of legislation development, the new public-utilities regulatory institution – Public Utilities Commission (PUC) started its operations in July 2001, taking over the responsibilities from Energy Regulation Council, Telecommunication Tariffs Council, Railway Administration and the Ministry of Transport, and providing the basis for full liberalisation of the telecommunication market as of January 2003.

Today PUC operates in compliance with the Law on Regulators of Public Utilities and the corresponding normative acts in the regulated sectors as a government institution supervised by the Ministry of Economy, but being independent in performing its tasks. PUC is represented in the Independent Regulators Group (IRG).

To ensure an efficient, sound and professional process of utility regulation the PUC follows certain basic principles: independence, openness and a balanced distance from the government, the regulated companies and users. The PUC is financed from payments made by the regulated enterprises; this approach is adopted in order to be independent of any government funding. The annual rate of such payments in Latvia shall not exceed 0.2% of the net turnover of the public utilities in regulated services in the preceding financial year. However from the institutional point of view, the regulator is not completely independent, as it is an institution supervised by the Ministry of Economy.

To ensure openness, the regulator co-operates with all entities involved in the regulation process by inviting them to participate in the preparation of draft decisions. Decisions made by the regulator are open and are published.

To operate and run a private network no authorisation or license is needed. To operate a public network two kinds of licenses are needed: a general authorisation license and an operator license, which are fairly easy to obtain.

As already mentioned, Lattelekom had been granted exclusive rights to provide telecommunication services in Latvia until January 1st, 2003, when the market would be liberalised or a liberalisation process within the telecommunication market started. After a one-year transition period it is the intention to have implemented the EU telecommunications directives more or less by the beginning of the year 2004.

The PUC is very aware of the high prices in telecommunication in Latvia, which is due to the old monopoly situation. According to the PUC, Latvia has the highest Internet connection prices in Europe, and the prices are approximately twice as expensive as the second most expensive country. Also for leased lines the prices are among the highest in Europe, due to the old monopoly situation regarding Lattelekom. In the future, interconnection will be regulated according to the principles of a cost-based model.

As to competition regulation, the PUC will be co-operating with the Competition Council regarding competition in general but also regarding specific regulations and competitions. Concerning anti trust regulation, the new competition law, which entered into force in January 2002, introduced an improvement of both substantive and procedural rules, including the definition of dominance, the criteria for merger control and sanctioning powers.

National research and education network

In Latvia there are two research networks, which both will be described in detail below.

LANET (Latvian Academic Network) is a computer network for education and science in Latvia and is used in higher education by students, professors, scientists and administration personnel. LANET is under the management and development of the Department of Information Technology of the University of Latvia, and was formed in 1992. The network is only available in Riga and only used as a university network. Today there are approximately 33,000 registered users at the University of Riga, who are connected through 21 departments or institutes.

The main concept for the network is that VLAN is used inside buildings, and cables are used outside and in some buildings. 40-50% of the network traffic is external whereas the rest (50-60%) is internal network traffic, which in general are 100 Mb/s connections between servers and switches. The amount of internal traffic is growing faster than the amount of external traffic.

LANET both owns and leases network capacity. LANET leases some dark fibres from Lattelekom and owns some. LANET has only put down own fibres in distances up to 1 km. It is generally considered to be too expensive for LANET to build its own network, as Lattelekom demands a higher price for renting duct capacity than for renting a fibre.

LANET has not experienced any regulatory problems in their own network operations, as there are no restrictions on building research networks and use of equipment in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. However, the lack of competition and the exclusive rights of Lattelekom have added to the costs of leasing of network facilities.

LANET does not have any international connection of its own, they simply rent IP capacity at Telia and use Telia’s network as the international connection. At the moment LANET is renting a 24 Mb/s connection at Telia and a 2 Mb/s backup link. The current capacity is enough for the time being, but in 3-5 years’ time it is estimated that the capacity should be in Gb/s regarding both the external and internal connections.

LANET has a budget of around 1 million euro, and does not charge its customers (different departments and institutes) for the network connection, but the different departments and institutes have to provide the workstations and other computer equipment needed – LANET only provide the network infrastructure. LANET’s budget for 2002 is approximately divided as follows: 10-20% is spent on salaries and office costs, 40% is spent on hardware and software (+ development), 40-50% is spent on transmission/data communication, where one-third of this is spent on international connectivity.

The Data Networking Laboratory (LATNET) is a separate unit of, and located at, the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia. LATNET was established in 1992 to provide data communication services to research and education institutions in Latvia. Besides providing Internet access to these institutions, LATNET also provides Internet services on a commercial basis to a wide range of business organisations and private persons, through a separate unit called LATNET Service Ltd., which was established in 1995.

The core network capacity is 1 Gb/s and over 2,200 entities are connected via a permanent connection, where a typical large-site access capacity is 2 Mb/s. About 70% of all university students in Latvia have Internet access through LATNET.

Today LATNET offers all kind of services: dial-up, leased lines, Ultra DSL, ISDN and different wireless solutions as well as hosting and homepage development. Furthermore LATNET is active in content providing and is very active in investigating the possibilities of implementing telecommunication technologies in business and everyday life.

The backbone network is built in a star-formation with Riga as the centre. The network is based on leased lines and radio links, where the radio links are used in the access network. LATNET mainly uses Lattelekom as a leased-line provider, but leases also capacity from radio and TV companies. In addition to this LATNET also owns some fibre-optic cables, which are used in the big cities and between major connections points. The radio links mainly consists of 2.4 GHz equipment, which is used in order to provide connections within a highly populated area.

The almost complete lack of competition on backbone networks / leased-line markets is a huge problem for LATNET, which according to them is the overall reason for the artificially high prices that Lattelekom is demanding for interconnection and leased lines. However Lattelekom offers a 30% discount on the academic part of the network.

LATNET has previously experienced some regulatory problems. When a license or permit is needed for a specific frequency band or for operating a network the procedure can be described as relatively slow.

At the moment LATNET has an international connection capacity of 60 Mb/s, which consists of two parts, one being a 34 Mb/s connection to GÉANT and the other a 26 Mb/s international connection to UUNet in Stockholm, which is the commercial part of the network. The split between international and national traffic is currently around 30/70 and the international share is decreasing while the national is increasing. This trend is believed to be based on the fact that more websites in the Latvian language are becoming available. Furthermore, 60-70% of the traffic can be related to academic use, while the rest is more or less based on commercial use.

The current capacity available through the GÉANT and UUNet network is enough for the time being, but in 3-5 years time it is estimated that the capacity should be 2.5 Gb/s. The turnover in 2001 was approximately 1.4 million euro and the budget for 2002 is slightly higher. LATNET’s budget for 2002 is approximately divided as follows: 30% is spent on salaries and office costs, 30% is spent on hardware and software, 40% is spent on transmission/data communication.

Center for Tele-Information (CTI), Technical University of Denmark

Interneto didmenininkai: energetikų optika ir telekomų draugystė

“Lietuvos energija” (LE) nuo 1997 metų į naujų laidų, kuriais keičia pasenusius, vidų pradėjo dėti optinių kabelių skaidulas. Pirmiausia tai buvo reikalinga pačios bendrovės duomenims perduoti – energetikams reikia žinoti bei valdyti ir Lietuvos, ir iš/į kaimynines šalis ateinančius elektros srautus.

2,5 Gb/s optinių kabelių tinklas, kurį turi LE, – galingesnis nei būtų reikalingas jų sąnaudoms. Pasak LE Informacinių technologijų ir telekomunikacijų centro direktoriaus Mariaus Grinevičiaus, rugpjūčio mėnesį LE pasirašė sutartį su Latvijos telekomu “Lattelekom”, kuriam išnuomojo dalį savo linijų – t. y. 155 Mb/s srautą. Tai trečdalis srauto, kurį bendrovė gali nuomoti interneto ryšio ir duomenų perdavimo paslaugų teikėjams. “Mes galime nuomoti savo srautą ir kitoms bendrovėms, su keliomis jau tariamės”, – sakė M.Grinevičius. Bet kol kas realiai jų klientas yra vienintelis “Lattelekom”, kurio ryšiu naudojasi kelios Lietuvos bendrovės, teikdamos jį savo verslo klientams.

Vienos tokių – UAB “Infostruktūra” – direktorius Ignotas Evaldas Paulauskas teigė, kad jų įmonė iš “Lattelekom”, o ne tiesiogiai iš LE nuomoja todėl, kad ne visai pasitiki energetikų sugebėjimu teikti tokias paslaugas. “Lietuvos energija” dar nemoka teikti šios paslaugos, tai ne jų sritis”, – sakė I.E.Paulauskas. Tačiau M.Grinevičius įsitikinęs, kad LE tinklas – patikimas. “Mes dirbame energetikos srityje, kur kiekvienas gedimas turi būti pašalintas per kelias sekundes. Svarbiausia mūsų darbe – operatyvumas”, – tikino jis. Tiesa, LE negali suteikti įmonei viso sprendimo – tik pagrindinį srautą, nes bendrovė neturi priėjimo prie galutinio vartotojo, t. y. “paskutinės mylios” – kabelio ar linijos, prijungiančios kliento biurą ar namus prie interneto srauto. O “Lattelekom”, bendradarbiaudamas su “Lietuvos telekomu” (LT), siūlo naudotis išbaigta paslauga, nes nuomojasi “paskutinę mylią” iš jo.

Klientai – Baltijos šalių bendrovės

“Lattelekom” Verslo paslaugų departamento direktorius Aigarsas Cerussas NK sakė, kad bendrovė tikisi per ateinančius metus Lietuvoje prisivilioti apie 60 naujų vartotojų. Tai būtų didelės bendrovės, pirmiausia tos, kurios dirba bent dviejose Baltijos šalyse, nes “Lattelekom” labiausiai giriasi tuo, kad siūlo sukurti virtualųjį privatų bendrovės tinklą (VPN), naudodama IP ir MPLS technologijas, per visas tris šalis. Tokią pat paslaugą teigia galinti teikti ir UAB “Bitė GSM” – jos Verslo sprendimų skyriaus vadovas Viktoras Dzindzeleta sakė, kad bendrovė tam turi techninių galimybių. “Tačiau tokiai paslaugai teikti reikalingi partneriai tose šalyse ir klientai, turintys savo filialus Latvijoje ir Estijoje bei jaučiantys poreikį juos sujungti į virtualųjį tinklą. Kai tik tokių klientų atsiras, galėsime pasiūlyti šią paslaugą”, – tikina skyriaus vadovas. UAB “Omnitel” VPN tarp visų trijų Baltijos šalių pati nesiūlo – bendradarbiauja su “Lattelekom” ir parduoda jo siūlomą paslaugą.

Bendradarbiavimas – telekomų konsolidacijos požymis?

“Lattelekom” į interneto teikimą eiliniams vartotojams nesikėsina – orientuojasi į bendroves, kurios dirba visose trijose Baltijos šalyse. Kaimyninis telekomas turi savo infrastruktūrą Latvijoje ir nuomojasi energetikų linijas iš “Eesti Energia”. “Paskutinę mylią” abiejose kaimyninėse šalyse “Lattelekom” nuomojasi iš kolegų – LT ir “Eesti telefon”.

Atrodo, keista, kad kaimyniniai telekomai taip draugiškai sutiko gana stiprų konkurentą interneto rinkoje – Latvijoje telekomas turi apie 80 proc. visų interneto vartotojų. Tačiau visų trijų Baltijos šalių telekomai valdomi to paties Skandinavijos bendrovių “Telia” ir “Sonera” konsorciumo. Analitikai teigia, kad galimas jų žingsnis – visų trijų telekomų sujungimas. Tačiau LT Paslaugų plėtros departamento direktorius Harris Suokko tikina, kad “Lattelekom” atėjimas – tiesiog bendrovės bandymas “apsiuostyti” kaimyninėse rinkose. Vis dėlto jis patvirtino, kad ateinančiais metais kai kurios “Telia” ir “Sonera” valdomos kompanijos Baltijos šalyse gali tapti antrinės.

Finansų patarėjų bendrovės “Prime Investment” projektų vadovo Kornelijaus Čelutkos teigimu, “niekas dar negali atsakyti į klausimą, kaip keisis telekomų santykiai ateityje – kartais jie bendradarbiauja, kartais vėl ima konkuruoti”. Vis dėlto “Lattelekom” įsileidimas į Lietuvą nereiškia, kad čia atkeliavo vilkas avies kailyje. Tiesa, “Lietuvos telekomą” ji privertė beveik perpus sumažinti interneto ir duomenų perdavimo kainas verslo klientams. Tačiau “Lattelekom” orientuojasi į konkretų vartotojų segmentą, be to, nesikėsina išplėšti iš telekomo klientų rato labai didelio kąsnio. Pasak H.Suokko, nors “Lattelekom” ir tikisi 60 klientų Lietuvoje per ateinančius metus, tai tik labai maža dalis. “Visą šalies verslo klientų rinką interneto srityje sudaro apie 10 tūkstančių įmonių”, – teigia jis. Tiesa, kai kurie rinkos žaidėjai mano, kad “Lattelekom” Lietuvoje siūlys internetą ir kitoms bendrovėms bei pavieniams vartotojams, bet pačios bendrovės atstovai tai neigia.

Rinkos dalyviai ir poreikiai

Abejojama, ar artimiausiu metu “Lietuvos telekomas” didmeninio interneto rinkoje dar sulauks tokių didelių konkurentų. H.Suokko šias viltis motyvuoja tuo, kad jau siūlomi visi Lietuvai reikalingi interneto ir duomenų perdavimo (DP) srautų pajėgumai. “Lietuvai pakanka 400-500 Mb/s srauto. 300 Mb/s turime mes, 155 Mb/s – “Lattelekom”, internetą teikia dar ir mobiliojo ryšio operatoriai, – teigia H.Suokko. – Rinka nėra tokia jau didelė, o jeigu kas nors sumanytų teikti srautą, kuris būtų mažesnis nei 155 Mb/s, verslo iš to tikrai nepadarytų”.

Be to, didelę infrastruktūrą šiuo metu turi LT, mobilieji operatoriai ir LE. Buvo kalbama apie “Lietuvos gele˛inkelius” (LG) kaip apie galimą srauto teikėją. “Mūsų bendrovė kol kas neturi tokių perteklinių resursų, kad galėtų juos parduoti, nors į mus jau yra kreipęsi ir Lietuvos, ir tarptautinės bendrovės, – pripažįsta LG infrastruktūros valdybos viršininko pavaduotojas Romanas Račas. – O kol mes juos turėsime (to galima tikėtis nebent per dvejus-trejus metus), kas gali garantuoti, kad tuo metu jie nebus jau pasenę ir per silpni?”. Dar vieną priežastį, dėl kurios LG resursai negali būti išnaudojami internetui teikti, įvardino UAB “Infostruktūra” direktorius. “Geležinkeliai nutiesti per miškus, toliau nuo gyvenamųjų rajonų. Kad jų linijos pasiektų vartotoją, reikėtų jas dar pirkti ir jungti”, – tikino I.E.Paulauskas.

Nors “Lietuvos telekomas” tiksliai neįvardino savo rinkos dalies, kurią užima didmeninio interneto teikimo srityje, galime aiškiai matyti šios rinkos lyderius. Tai – tas pats LT, UAB “Omnitel”, kuri, pasak jos IT projektų grupės koordinatoriaus Audriaus Navicko, užima daugiau nei 20 proc. duomenų perdavimo rinkos verslo srityje, “Bitė GSM”, atsiriekusi apie 15 proc. šio pyrago. Ir, ko gero, į rinką žengiantis “Lattelekom” bei jo klientai, perparduodantys srautą ir sprendimus. Konkurencija, pasak K.Čelutkos, keis savo linkmę ir labiausiai bus juntama sprendimų srityje – daugiausiai klientų turės tas, kuris pasiūlys įmonei internetą, duomenų perdavimą, VPN ir jai pritaikytus IT sprendimus, vaidinsiančius itin svarbų vaidmenį klientui apsisprendžiant.

Anastasija Zemdliauskaite
“Naujoji komunikacija”

Pasirašyta dešimttūkstantoji paslaugos „DSL takas” teikimo sutartis

Police investigation: Sonera traced calls of dozens of individuals

Criminal investigation may last until summer

The inquiry of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has revealed that the corporate security unit of Sonera monitored calls placed from dozens of mobile phone subscribers in 2000 and 2001.

    NBI Deputy Chief Jari Liukku commented that this estimate may still change, as there is a “huge” amount of material under review. This material includes electronic logs of all phone calls placed from the monitored subscriptions.

    According to Liukku, the internal Sonera investigation covered dozens of individuals, but fewer than one hundred all told. As dozens or hundreds of calls have been placed from each subscriber line, the number of calls traced by the Sonera corporate security unit is in the thousands.

    The police and prosecutors have not yet agreed whether the plaintiffs in the case include only those individuals whose subscriptions were illegally monitored, or also those who received the calls. Finnish legislation is somewhat ambiguous in the matter.

The police have not yet interviewed all those individuals whose phone calls were traced. The criminal investigation will most likely continue until the summer, and a trial would begin during the fall at the earliest.

    According to information held by Helsingin Sanomat, Sonera aimed to determine who had leaked information to the newspaper. Therefore, it has been suspected that the phone calls of some reporters were also monitored at Sonera, but Liukku declined to comment on whether media representatives are among the plaintiffs.

    Among the known plaintiffs are three former members of Sonera’s Board of Directors, including the company’s chief shop steward.

    Five former Sonera executives, as well as former President and CEO Kaj-Erik Relander, are still under suspicion in the case.
 
Helsingin Sanomat

Corruption and Anti-corruption Policy in Latvia

The World Bank as well as domestic surveys found that the institutions seen as most corrupt are the customs administration, followed by the traffic police and the State telephone monopoly

Lattelekom .

The high ranking of Lattelekom may be an example of perceptions lagging behind reality; perceptions of the company are conditioned by memories of the past, when it was necessary to pay a bribe to get a telephone connection, and may also be influenced by disputes between the Government and the company over fulfilment of its obligations under the 1994 privatisation contract.

OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE 2002

“Lietuvos telekomo” vadovas teigia, kad bendrovė gerai pasirengė konkurenciniai kovai

Didžiausia ryšių bendrovė mūsų šalyje – “Lietuvos telekomas” – teigia pagrįstai nustačiusi kaštais pagrįstus tinklų sujungimo tarifus kitiems operatoriams, kurie imsis teikti fiksuoto telefono ryšio paslaugas ir konkuruos su telekomu nuo šių metų pradžios liberalizuotoje balso telefonijos rinkoje.

“Jeigu nauji rinkos dalyviai tomis kainomis nepatenkinti, gali daug investuoti, sukurti savo tinklą ir parodyti, jog jie geresni nei mes”, – dėstė “Lietuvos telekomo” generalinis direktorius Tapijas Parma (Tapio Paarma), ne kartą akcentavęs, kad jo vadovaujama įmonė puikiai pasiruošė konkurencijai, pastaraisiais metais sukurdama vieną iš moderniausių fiksuoto ryšio skaitmeninių tinklų Europoje. “Visada atsiranda protingesnių: mes išsiauginome arklius, o jie nori jais joti. Tai nėra sąžininga”, – vaizdžiai apibūdino situaciją T. Parma (T.Paarma) ketvirtadienį Vilniuje įvykusioje spaudos konferencijoje.

Šių metų pradžioje “Lietuvos telekomas” pasiūlė būsimiems operatoriams tokias naudojimosi savo tinklais kainas: piko metu 0,21 Lt (čia ir toliau – be PVM) už pokalbio minutę, ne piko metu – 0,11 Lt. Tinklų sujungimo mokestis yra vienas iš svarbiausių veiksnių, nuo kurio priklausys būsimų “Lietuvos telekomo” konkurentų teikiamų paslaugų kainos.

Fiksuoto telefono ryšio rinkoje ketinanti veikti kompanija “Tele2″ praėjusią savaitę pareiškė, kad jos nepatenkina tokia kaina, nes ji nėra grindžiama sąnaudų bei protingos investicijos grąžos principu. “Tele2″ mano, kad toji kaina daug didesnė negu telekomo kaštai.

Ketvirtadienį “Lietuvos telekomo” atstovai palyginimui pateikė skaičių, kad minutė vietinio pokalbio piko metu kainuoja 0,22 Lt, ne piko metu – 0,19 Lt, tarpmiestinio pokalbio minutės kaina – piko metu 0,46 Lt, ne piko metu – 0,37 Lt.

Šiuo metu Ryšių reguliavimo tarnyba nagrinėja “Lietuvos telekomo” pasiūlytą tinklų sujungimo kainą. “Mes nagrinėsime, ar išankstinis telekomo pasiūlymas yra ekonomiškai pagrįstas, ar jis atitinka sąnaudas. Jeigu pasirodytų, kad taip nėra, pasinaudotume mums suteikta teise siūlyti paslaugos tiekėjui nustatyti pagrįstą jos kainą”, – sakė Ryšių reguliavimo tarnybos direktoriaus pavaduotojas Henrikas Varnas.

A apie planus veikti fiksuoto telefono ryšio rinkoje yra pareiškė aštuonios bendrovės. Su trimis iš jų “Lietuvos telekomas” jau analizuoja technines galimybes prisijungti prie telekomo tinklo. Pasak T. Parmos (Tapio Paarma), kai tie klausimai bus suderinti, prasidės komercinės derybos.

“Lietuvos telekomas” teigė, jog tam tikrų problemų kyla dėl to, kad būsimieji konkurentai nori naudoti šiek tiek pasenusią įrangą, kuri kokybiškai neveiks kartu su telekomo moderniu tinklu. “Situaciją galima palyginti su autolenktynėmis: įsivaizduokite, kad seno modelio “Volga” norėtų dalyvauti “Formulės” varžybose. Ji ne tik nepajėgtų, bet ir sukeltų pavojų aplinkiniams. To negalima leisti”, – teigė T. Parma (Tapio Paarma).

Jis prognozuoja, kad nė vienas iš būsimų konkurentų neteiks visų balso telefonijos paslaugų, kokias siūlo telekomas, o veiks didžiausiuose šalies miestuose, siūlys paslaugas verslo įmonėms, tarptautinius ir tarpmiestinius telefono pokalbius.

T. Parma (Tapio Paarma) santūriai vertina naujų rinkos žaidėjų galimybes konkuruoti tarptautinių telefono pokalbių rinkoje, kurioje realiai jau seniai nėra “Lietuvos telekomo” monopolijos, o dėl konkurencijos kainos yra mažesnės nei Latvijoje, kur telekomunikacijų rinka irgi liberalizuota nuo šių metų pradžios. “Ši pyrago grietinėlė jau suvalgyta, belikę jos likučiai”, – kalbėjo T. Parma (Tapio Paarma). Jo vertinimu, telekomas turi 60-65 proc. išeinančių tarptautinių telefono skambučių rinkos Lietuvoje.

“Lietuvos telekomo” vadovas neprognozavo, kiek šiemet jo vadovaujama bendrovė gali prarasti balso telefonijos rinkos dėl naujų rinkos žaidėjų pasirodymo. Jis minėjo, kad telekomas tikisi padidinti verslo klientų skaičių, kuriems reikia daug paslaugų. T. Parma (Tapio Paarma) pareiškė, kad artimiausiu metu “Lietuvos telekomas” neturi ketinimų padidinti jokių savo paslaugų kainų. Bet šios bendrovės vadovas sutinka, kad dėl konkurencijos tos kainos ateityje gali mažėti. “Taip, mažinsime, bet kada, kaip ir kas – ne metas pasakyti”, – teigė “Lietuvos telekomo” generalinis direktorius.

Jis teigiamai atsiliepė apie Ryšių reguliavimo tarnybos atliktą darbą rengiantis telekomunikacijų rinkos liberalizavimui, nurodydamas, kad praėjusiais metais jos parengti dvidešimt penki šią sritį reguliuojantys dokumentai yra gana kokybiški. Ryšių reguliavimo tarnyba turi parengti dar 10 poįstatyminių teisinių aktų.

Praėjusių metų finansinius rezultatus “Lietuvos telekomas” žada paskelbti vasario 19 dieną.

Atsakydamas į klausimą, kaip Lietuvai gali atsiliepti pradžioje suformuota dviejų Skandinavijos valstybių valdoma telekomunikacijų bendrovė “TeliaSonera”, kuriai per antrines įmones priklauso 60 proc. “Lietuvos telekomo” ir 55 proc. “Omnitel” akcijų, T. Parma (Tapio Paarma) išsakė savo nuomonę, kad “struktūros požiūriu permainų nebus”. Bet ateityje galima glaudesnis “Lietuvos telekomo” ir “Omnitel” bendradarbiavimas, pavyzdžiui, teikiant kartu tam tikras paslaugas.

ELTA

Foreign Deal Impacts on Latvian Telecoms Market

In the second half of 2002 a merger between two major foreign investors took place that will have a significant impact on the Latvian telecommunications market.

The merging companies, Telia Aktiebolag plc and Sonera Corporation, have between them invested approximately $170 million in the share capital of Latvian telecommunications enterprises.

The merger’s main effect in Latvia was that it would grant Telia decisive influence over two key players on the domestic telecommunications market – SIA Lattelekom and SIA Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).

Impact on Lattelekom

At present, Lattelekom is the sole provider of public telecommunications network services in Latvia. However, following legislative changes its monopoly over these services is due to expire on January 1 2003. After this date other enterprises will be able to enter the market for the provision of public fixed telecommunications network services, although it is expected that Lattelekom will preserve its dominant position on the market for the foreseeable future.

Prior to the merger Sonera’s fully owned subsidiary Sonera Holding BV held a 100% stakeholding in Tilts Communications, which in turn held 49% of Lattelekom’s shares. Sonera thus indirectly held a shareholding of 49% in Lattelekom.

In accordance with the management agreement executed between Lattelekom and Tilts, and the umbrella agreement executed between Lattelekom, Tilts and the Republic of Latvia, Tilts (and thus, indirectly, Sonera) can control certain of Lattelekom’s management decisions. As a result of the merger, Telia will acquire 49% of Lattelekom’s shares and the right to adopt certain management decisions, and will thus obtain decisive influence over this enterprise.

Impact on LMT

LMT is one of two providers of public mobile telecommunications services in Latvia. Its market share is well over 50%. Prior to the merger Sonera Holding indirectly held 24.5% of LMT’s shares. In addition, Lattelekom has a 23% stake in LMT, so Sonera indirectly held an additional 11.3% of LMT’s shares. Therefore, Sonera’s total indirect shareholding in LMT stood at 35.8%.

The other party involved in the merger process, Telia, held 24.5% of LMT’s shares before the merger. Once the deal was concluded, its direct and indirect holding in LMT would rise to 60.3%, giving Telia decisive influence over the largest mobile telecommunications operator in Latvia.

Merger Authorization

As the effects of the merger could noticeably hinder, restrict or distort competition in Latvia, the Competition Council was duly notified by Telia and Sonera and requested to decide whether to authorize or prohibit the transaction.

The Competition Council acknowledged that as a result of the merger, concentration on the market could create separate markets of telecommunications services which could have a negative influence on competition. However, notwithstanding these potentially negative effects the merger was permitted, on condition that the participants meet certain conditions aimed at eliminating and preventing any adverse effects on competition.

For further information on this topic please contact Filip Klavins at Klavins & Slaidins by telephone (+371 703 5222) or by fax (+371 703 5252) or by email (filip.klavins@klavinsslaidins.lv).