Monthly Archives: August 2004

Comments by TeliaSonera on the VoIP consultation document

2004-08-30 1 (5)
Contact
Claes-Göran Sundelius
Claes-Goran.Sundelius@teliasonera.com
Tel: +46-8-50455292

Identifier Relation
HkJ /C-G2004
Your date Your reference
infso-b1@cec.eu.int
VoIP

Head Office Visiting and Delivery address Contact Information

TeliaSonera AB Head Office
Sturegatan 1 Fax: +46-8-946470
SE-106 63 Stockholm www.teliasonera.com
Reg. office: Stockholm
Reg. No. VAT No. SE556430-0142

Comments by TeliaSonera on the VoIP consultation document

TeliaSonera welcomes this opportunity to comment on proposals and questions in the Commission staff working document relating to the regulatory treatment of services based on Voice over IP (the Document).

Summary

TeliaSonera´s main points are the following.

– While the Document´s distinction between Publicly Available Electronic Communication Services and Publicly Available Telephone Service is possible, TeliaSonera would like to introduce a possible alternative distinction

– TeliaSonera suggests that a VoIP based publicly available voice service that offer access to and from the public telephone network should be PATS

– A pragmatic and “light touch” regulatory attitude will be necessary in relation to VoIP based PATS. Only the most important and pressing of the existing regulatory provisions for telephony services under the EU framework should apply in order not to hinder the evolution of innovative new services

– TeliaSonera suggests that a distinction is made between regulatory provisions that only apply to “PATS at a fixed location” and provisions that apply to all PATS (i.e. also mobile telephony services and “nomadic” VoIP based telephony services)

– TeliaSonera suggests that a VoIP based publicly available voice service that only offers access to, but not from, the public telephone network should not be defined as PATS, but rather as a publicly available ECS with limited rights and obligations in accordance with the directives

The Document´s sections 1 – 3, General comments

TeliaSonera has noted and finds it reasonable at this stage of VoIP development that the Commission will issue only non-binding Guidelines, as indicated in the Document. VoIP based commercial services and business models are still at an early stage and the VoIP technology, functionalities, services and market are immature. Many VoIP based services provide both voice telephony functionality and advanced value-added functions where voice, data, video and computer applications are integrated. These new features are not exclusively applicable to VoIP but they are not easily incorporated in traditional PATS. It is clear that telephony will increasingly only be one application, although important, among several IP applications integrating voice. These developments mean that it actually might be more reasonable to talk about CoIP (Communications over IP) rather than VoIP. There are good reasons to assume that we have only seen the beginning of services and applications based on CoIP. In order not to hinder the evolution of innovative new services only the most important and pressing of the existing regulatory provisions relating to publicly available telephony services should apply to these services. A pragmatic and “light touch” regulatory attitude will be necessary, while at the same time safeguarding the users´ fundamental interests as well as the need for a level playing field for intra-territorial and extra-territorial players in line with the EU regulatory framework.

Obviously, the crucial issue will be to identify to what extent existing regulatory provisions should also apply to various voice services based on IP. The Document is a good starting point for that process and a useful basis for further discussions among operators and regulatory authorities. It is clear from the Document that while the regulatory framework is meant to be technology neutral, the underlying technology affects the services and business models. Thus this interrelation cannot be
disregarded and the application of the technology neutrality principle becomes more difficult. However, it is important that this principle is applied to the largest extent possible in any regulatory approach. TeliaSonera welcomes that there is no proposal for a formal, rigid classification of different publicly available VoIP service offerings. However, TeliaSonera suggests that the basic criterion to be taken into account when characterizing a publicly available service should be if access to and from telephone numbers in a national numbering plan is possible. If such access is possible the service should be regarded as a publicly available telephony service under the directives irrespective of the underlying technology. In TeliaSonera´s opinion there should not be publicly available telephony services where such access is limited.

When using a service that has the “look and feel” of a publicly available telephony service it should be possible to get access to and from any open telephone number, be it geographic, non-geographic or a service number (like 112). This is a fundamental principle for a national telephony numbering plan and should be protected in the interest of users. TeliaSonera would advise against introducing a regulatory category of the publicly available telephony service (defined in the Document as publicly available ECS for regulatory purposes) that does not fulfill this basic criterion. TeliaSonera would prefer that a VoIP based publicly available voice service that only offers access to, but not from, the public telephone network would not be defined as PATS, but rather as a publicly available ECS with limited rights and obligations in accordance with the directives. While respecting that the basic criterion for PATS above should be mandatory it should, however, be possible to introduce new types of services into the market, without them being immediately subject to the full set of other regulatory obligations relating to PATS. Many of these have evolved in the course of providing services with already very mature technology (meaning mainly public switched telephony in this context). A reasonable precondition for this introduction would be an open and fair communication of possible limitations in the service. This would leave the choice to the customer and it would provide the service provider with possibilities to introduce new services

The Document´s section 4

In sections 4.2 and 4.3 there is a comparison between publicly available ECS and PATS and it is foreseen that there might be publicly available telephony services that offer access to and from telephone numbers but not to and from emergency services
numbers. As stated above TeliaSonera would advise against such a development in the interest of users.

In the Document two broad regulatory approaches are identified: one is to impose traditional PSTN obligations on all new telephone-like services; the other is to ensure that consumers are fully informed and can make their own choices, while encouraging suppliers to find new technical solutions. TeliaSonera would like to suggest a combination of the two approaches and that possibly not all traditional PSTN obligations are imposed on VoIP based publicly available telephony services.
When defining regulatory provisions applicable to VoIP based publicly available telephony services, TeliaSonera suggests that a distinction is made between provisions that only apply to “PATS at a fixed location” and provisions that apply to all
PATS (i.e. also mobile and “nomadic”) under the EU regulatory framework. The Document addresses this distinction, but does not provide a comprehensive analysis.

Some of the existing provisions for “fixed PATS” were not intended to be applied to VoIP based publicly available telephony services taking into account technical limitations and that the services often are, or easily could develop into becoming,
“nomadic”. TeliaSonera suggests that the Commission staff should make a thorough analysis into what provisions for fixed PATS, if any, that should not apply. The conclusions should be included in the Guidelines. Such provisions can e.g. be found in relation to fixed telephony services under Universal service obligations (USD, chapter II). On the other hand, provisions that apply to all PATS, like e.g. number portability and the right for subscribers to be included in public telephone directories, should reasonably also apply to “nomadic” VoIP based publicly available telephony services. In addition, the general provisions in the directives that apply to publicly available ECS should of course be applicable. In this way, as level a playing field as possible will be guaranteed without any hampering of service development.

In the Document it is proposed that:

• NRA’s could consider providing, on request, a standardised declaration to those suppliers that
undertake to provide publicly available telephone services in accordance with the applicable
conditions in the general authorisation.

TeliaSonera supports this proposal and suggests that the basic criterion concerning access to and from open telephone numbers should be included in the declaration as well as other regulatory provisions that should apply to VoIP based publicly available telephony services. As a complement NRAs could be encouraged to publish on their web sites information on VoIP based publicly available telephony services, highlighting the most important general characteristics and regulatory provisions. Information on other VoIP based publicly available voice services of a non-PATS nature could also be published.
The Document´s sections 5 – 7 TeliaSonera would like to comment on some of the issues identified in sections 5 – 7.

– On Article 23 of the Universal Service Directive (Integrity of the network):

Even if the provisions in this Article only apply to “fixed PATS” a shared responsibility between the network provider and the VoIP service provider seems reasonable. This issue requires further careful analysis.

– On in-line powering of terminals:

The increasing usage of cordless terminals in homes and offices for traditional PATS needs to be taken into account when considering regulations and information in this area. There will also most likely be more terminals with back-up battery functions available in the market.

– On Emergency Services:

As have been stated above, it should be mandatory for all VoIP based publicly available telephony services (i.e. offering access to and from the public telephone network) to offer access also to and from emergency services. TeliaSonera would
advise against introducing a regulatory category of the publicly available telephony service with only limited access to and from open telephone numbers. It should be possible, also in the future, to make and receive emergency service calls from all
“telephones”.

The obligation in USD Art. 26 on Member States to ensure that location information is provided for calls to 112 when technically feasible should be adhered to. Member States should be encouraged to ensure that all providers of fixed, nomadic and mobile publicly available telephony services, i.e. also VoIP telephony service providers, provide caller IDs and location information. While the organisation of emergency services is a national matter, market players should be encouraged to consult and cooperate with emergency authorities in these matters to find practical and economical solutions. The results from on-going international standardisation activities will be important for this development. The Document proposes that different obligations in relation to routing of emergency calls should apply to different kinds of VoIP based publicly available telephony services. TeliaSonera does not agree with this proposal. It would be disproportionate at the present stage of development to impose such obligations on any VoIP provider. The matter is closely related to the location information issue and should be treated similarly.

– On Privacy and Lawful interception

In general TeliaSonera agrees with the Document that the privacy and security rules in the EU regulatory framework apply to all services, incl. VoIP based publicly available telephony services. Compliance with these rules by all market players is necessary in order to protect fundamental rights of users and to have a level playing field. However, Member States and NRAs should be encouraged to reasonably take into account the privacy and security characteristics of VoIP based service offerings. As indicated in the Document, VoIP based services are more vulnerable to data protection problems. It is important that any regulation in this field is not too detailed in order to be able to adapt to a changing environment. It is also important that market players are given adequate tools to satisfy their security obligations, like e.g. allowing measures to protect against spam, viruses and denial-of-service attacks. In relation to lawful interception of VoIP based publicly available telephony services TeliaSonera agrees with the Document that it would be advisable for Member States to agree on common standards to keep costs down.

– On Numbering

It should be possible to use geographic numbers both for “fixed” and “nomadic” VoIP based publicly available telephony services. It should also be possible to use nongeographic numbers, incl. specific number ranges, for VoIP based publicly available telephony services with nomadic functionalities. In accordance with the USD Art. 30 all subscribers should have a right to port numbers (geographic and non-geographic) between traditional PATS and VoIP based publicly available telephony services. Only in this way, the subscribers´ interest can be safeguarded and a level playing field be achieved for all market players providing publicly available telephony services.

Claes-Göran Sundelius
VP Regulatory Affairs
TeliaSonera AB

Finnish police expand snooping investigation

An investigation into former TeliaSonera employees has been widened to cover allegations that they snooped on employee and customer emails


Police are widening an investigation into several former employees of Finland’s TeliaSonera for allegedly using the telco’s systems to violate the privacy of employees and customers.

Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) now believes that customer emails may have been read and mobile phone calls tapped in an effort to discover the source of leaks of embarrassing information.

Up to 100 employees may have been targeted in the operation, according to the online edition of Finland’s daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, but the operation may have violated the privacy of up to 7,000 people they were in contact with between 2000 and 2001.

Previously, the alleged operation by TeliaSonera employees was thought only to have included mobile phone records.

The NBI could not be reached for comment.

A TeliaSonera spokeswoman said the investigation is not targeting the company — only former employees. She was unable to provide further information. “All we know is what we are reading the papers,” she said.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, those under investigation include former chief executive Kaj-Erik Relander. According to the police investigation the primary target of the Sonera operation had been about 100 company employees, board members, and a number of outsiders, including journalists, the newspaper claimed.

TeliaSonera is Findland’s largest telco. At the end of December 2003 TeliaSonera had 12 million mobile customers, eight million fixed-line customers and 1.6 million Internet customers.

ZDNet UK

Security Police leadership suspected of concealing involvement in Sonera snooping

New twist to Sonera case

An investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has apparently implicated Seppo Nevala, the head of Finland’s Security Police (SUPO), and Petri Knape, the head of the operative section of SUPO, in an attempt to cover up Security Police involvement in the suspected tracing of telephone records by the telecommunications service provider Sonera.

Nevala sharply denies any wrongdoing, and points out that the whole investigation was sparked by a report drafted by SUPO itself.
One SUPO worker has been interrogated on suspicion of dereliction of duty and incitement to violate communications privacy. Two people working in the security sector of Sonera have been questioned on suspicion of violating communications privacy.
SUPO’s top leadership is under suspicion of failing to take action upon learning of the unlawful activities of the former head of a security police regional unit, who is suspected of acquiring telephone records from the Sonera security department in 2000. Digging up such information normally requires the permission of a court.

Investigators say that Nevala and Knape are under suspicion because the SUPO detective involved told them about the activities about two years later. Investigators into the case are considering whether or not Nevala and Knape should have understood that the snooping was illegal.
Nevala says that the issue was investigated immediately, and that he trusted in the results of an internal investigation in SUPO, which came to the conclusion that nothing illegal had happened.
The report of the internal investigators was not submitted to the Prosecutor-General’s office until the autumn of 2003, after Nevala had received further information about the case. The Prosecutor-General’s office then asked the NBI to investigate possible illegal acts on the part of SUPO.
Police investigations into the possible SUPO role in the matter are in their final stages, and State Prosecutor Ari-Pekka Koivisto is to decide on whether or not to proceed with the case.

Helsingin Sanomat

“TeliaSonera” pateiks pasiūlymą supirkti “Eesti Telekom” akcija

Didžiausias Šiaurės ir Baltijos šalyse telekomunikacijų koncernas “TeliaSonera” trečiadienį paskelbė nusprendęs pateikti viešąjį pasiūlymą supirkti visas išleistas, tačiau koncernui dar nepriklausančias Estijos bendrovės “AS Eesti Telekom” akcijas. Šiuo metu “TeliaSonera” valdo 48,91 proc. “Eesti Telekom” akcijų.

“TeliaSonera” per savo kontroliuojančiąją bendrovę “Baltic Tele AB” pasiūlys po 111,3 Estijos kronos už A klasės ir 11,13 kronos už B klasės “Eesti Telekom” akcijas, kurias valdo Estijos Respublika ir kiti akcininkai.

A klasės “Eesti Telekom” akcijos yra listinguojamos Talino vertybinių popierių biržoje. Visų 51,09 proc. akcijų, kurios dar nepriklauso “TeliaSonera”, vertė siekia 7,827 mlrd. kronų (500 mln. eurų).

Savo ruožtu “Eesti Telekom” stebėtojų taryba pritarė bendrovės valdybos pasiūlymui šiemetiniame akcininkų susirinkime pasiūlyti 8 kronų dividendus už vieną “Eesti Telekom” akciją. “TeliaSonera” tikisi, kad dividendai akcininkams bus išmokėti iki tol, kol baigs galioti jos pasiūlymas dėl akcijų supirkimo. Pasiūlyta kaina, įskaitant dividendus, yra 12,3 proc. didesnė už vidutinę “Eesti Telekom” akcijų vertę biržoje per paskutinius dvylika mėnesių.

Išsamus pasiūlymo prospektas bus paskelbtas po to, kai jį patvirtins Estijos finansų rinkos priežiūros tarnyba. Pasiūlymas galios 42 dienas nuo prospekto paskelbimo dienos. Manoma, kad Finansų rinkos priežiūros tarnyba prospektą patvirtins ir jis bus paskelbtas iki balandžio pabaigos.

Pasiūlymas galios su sąlyga, kad “TeliaSonera” per “Baltic Tele” valdys ne mažiau kaip 85 proc. jau išleistų “Eesti Telekom” akcijų. Be to, pasiūlymą turi patvirtinti Estijos konkurencijos taryba.

“TeliaSonera” nuosekliai siekia įsitvirtinti kaip Šiaurės ir Baltijos šalių telekomunikacijų rinkos lyderė, o sandoris dėl “Eesti Telekom” akcijų taps svarbiu žingsniu konsoliduojant regiono rinką, teigiama pranešime spaudai.

Pasiūlyta kaina atspindi sinergijos naudą, kurios sudariusi sandorį tikisi “TeliaSonera”. Ši nauda turėtų būti labiausiai susijusi su sąnaudų ir kapitalo sinergija, ypač su įsigijimais, produktų kūrimu, informacinių technologijų sistemomis ir infrastruktūra. Ilgainiui tikimasi ir papildomos, su bendrovės plėtra ir regiono rinkų integravimu susijusios naudos.

“Jau skelbta, kad mūsų įsigijimų strategijos tikslas yra didinti pajėgumą Šiaurės ir Baltijos šalyse, – sakė “TeliaSonera” vadovas Andersas Igelis. – Nuosavybės didinimas bendrovėje “Eesti Telekom” yra geras to pavyzdys. Apjungus “Eesti Telekom” ir “TeliaSonera”, privatiems ir verslo klientams bus pasiūlytos geresnės paslaugos ir platesnis produktų asortimentas. Manau, kad tai bus svarbu vis labiau integruotai Šiaurės ir Baltijos šalių plėtrai”.

Apie “TeliaSonera” sprendimą pateikti pasiūlymą jau pranešta Estijos finansų rinkos priežiūros tarnybai.

ELTA primena, kad “TeliaSonera” per antrines įmones Lietuvoje valdo bendroves “Lietuvos telekomas” ir “Omnitel”.

ELTA
2004 balandžio mėn. 14 d.

Suomijos pareigūnai susidomėjo kainomis, kuriomis ryšių operatoriai nuomoja tinklus interneto paslaugų teikėjams

Už konkurenciją atsakinga Suomijos institucija trečiadienį paskelbė, kad šalies pareigūnai tiria didžiausių telekomunikacijų operatorių veiklą, nes įtaria, kad operatoriai taikė pernelyg dideles kainas už tinklų nuomą konkuruojantiems plačiajuosčio interneto paslaugų teikėjams, praneša Reuters-ELTA.

Timas Matila (Timo Mattila), vadovaujantis tyrimų skyriui Suomijos konkurencijos tarnybos antimonopoliniame padalinyje, sakė, jog tyrimas yra susijęs su Suomijos “Elisa”, koncernui “TeliaSonera” priklausančia “Auria” ir penkiais privačios “Finnet” padaliniais, kurie visi nuomoja tinklus ir patys siūlo plačiajuosčio interneto paslaugas.

“Sulaukėme skundų dėl šių konkrečių bendrovių ir dabar atliekame įprastinį tyrimą, – teigė T. Matila. – Mokesčiai, kuriuos jos gauna už savo tinklo produktus, neleidžia konkurentams konkuruoti”.

“Auria” atstovė pareiškė, kad įmonė bendradarbiaus su Konkurencijos tarnyba. Tuo tarpu “Elisa” ir “Finnet” tyrimo nekomentavo.

T. Matila minėjo, jog tyrimas bus baigtas šiais metais. Jei bendrovės būtų pripažintos kaltomis, konkurencijos tarnyba gali pasiūlyti nubausti jas baudomis, kurios gali siekti iki 10 proc. apyvartos. Tiesa, paprastai baudos būna mažesnės.

“Neturime jokių griežtų taisyklių, kaip nustatyti baudą”, – teigė T. Matila.

ELTA

„Lietuvos telekomas“ 50 proc. padidino tarptautinio interneto pralaidą

AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ beveik 50 procentų padidino tarptautinio interneto pralaidą – nuo 930 Mbit/s iki beveik 1400 Mbit/s.
„Lietuvos telekomo“ Didmeninės prekybos departamento vadovo Dariaus Didžgalvio teigimu, padidinta pralaida leis ne tik užtikrinti spartesnį interneto ryšį, bet ir garantuos klientams reikalingą kokybę ryšio sutrikimo atvejais. „Trys kanalai su skirtingais interneto ryšio teikėjais praktiškai garantuoja, kad net kritiniais momentais ryšys su tarptautiniu interneto tinklu nenutrūks“, – tvirtino Darius Didžgalvis.
„Lietuvos telekomas“ yra vienintelis tarptautinio interneto ryšio teikėjas Lietuvoje, turintis net tris nepriklausomus kanalus su pasaulinio interneto ryšio teikėjais „TeliaSonera“, „Sprint“ ir „Level 3“.
„Lietuvos telekomas“, padidinęs prisijungimo prie tarptautinio interneto tinklo kanalų pralaidą, išlieka šalies interneto ryšio teikėjų lyderis.
AB „Lietuvos telekomas“ netiesiogiai priklauso vienai didžiausių Skandinavijos telekomunikacijų korporacijų „TeliaSonera“, kuri per savo antrinę įmonę „Amber Teleholding A/S“ valdo 60 proc. įmonės akcijų.
Rosvaldas Gorbačiovas,
atstovas spaudai,
(8 ~ 5) 236 75 37,
(8 ~ 687) 3 33 44

Case SE/2004/0083: Wholesale broadband access in Sweden Comments pursuant to Article 7(3) of Directive 2002/21/EC

Commission européenne, B-1049 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussel – Belgium. Telephone: (32-2) 299 11 11.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Brussels, 20.08.2004

SG-Greffe (2004) D/203617
Post & Telestyrelsen

P.O. Box 5398
SE-102 49 STOCKHOLM

For the attention of:

Ms Marianne Treschow
Acting Director General

Fax: +46-8-678 57 03

Dear Ms Treschow,

Subject: Case SE/2004/0083: Wholesale broadband access in Sweden Comments pursuant to Article 7(3) of Directive 2002/21/EC1

I. PROCEDURE

On 6 July 2004, the Commission registered a notification by Post & Telestyrelsen (“PTS”) concerning wholesale broadband access in Sweden. The national consultation runs in parallel with the Community consultation under Article 7 of the Framework Directive, and the deadline for both consultations is 27 August 2004.2

On 16 July 2004, the Commission requested PTS to submit further information and clarification which was provided on 20 July 2004.

Pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Framework Directive, national regulatory authorities (“NRAs”) and the Commission may make comments on notified draft measures to the NRA concerned.

1 Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (the “Framework Directive”), OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 33.

2 In accordance with Article 6 of the Framework Directive.

II. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAFT MEASURE

PTS defines the relevant product market as the market for wholesale broadband access in the form of bitstream access (“wholesale bitstream access”). According to the definition of PTS, wholesale bitstream access occurs when an alternative operator rents from an operator controlling an access network a complete connection for broadband transfer of data in both directions between a network node and the end-user.3 After having analysed alternative types of infrastructure, PTS has decided to include cable-TV networks and Local Area Networks (LANs) in the relevant product market, when bitstream connections – including broadband access based on bitstream connections – are provided over these networks.

In respect of cable-TV network operators, PTS identifies a number of circumstances which make it difficult for those operators to enter the market for wholesale bitstream access, e.g. the lack of nation-wide coverage of the networks, the fact that most cable-TV networks are “cascade” networks (which impedes customer-unique access) and the fact that cable-TV operators normally do not own the entire infrastructure. In its analysis of supply-side substitution, PTS makes the assessment that cable-TV operators currently lack the ability to respond promptly to a price increase for wholesale bitstream access provided over other types of infrastructure and that switching costs for potential whole sale customers are high. As regards potential competition, PTS considers it unlikely that operators that do not currently offer bitstream access via alternative infrastructures would start offering such services in response to a price increase from TeliaSonera. PTS considers the relevant market to be national in scope.

On the basis of its market analysis, PTS intends to designate TeliaSonera AB as having SMP in the relevant market. According to PTS, TeliaSonera accounted for 78% of the total number of bitstream connections in Sweden. The remaining 22% mainly consisted of companies offering wholesale bitstream access based on Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) or operating bitstream connections over LANs. PTS also indicates that an unspecified number of bitstream connections were provided over cable-TV networks at that time. However, additional information provided to the Commission by PTS indicates that no cable-TV operator currently operates any bitstream connections and, consequently, that no wholesale bitstream access is provided over cable-TV networks in

Sweden.

In addition to market shares, PTS considered the following criteria when reaching its provisional conclusion on SMP: lack of market dynamics, high barriers to entry, lack of countervailing buyer power, lack of potential competition and the fact that TeliaSonera is a vertically integrated company controlling key inputs for bitstream access (e.g. network capacity in the local loop and IP-capacity).

PTS proposes to impose the following obligations on TeliaSonera:

3 As regards public switched telephone networks (“PSTN”), wholesale bitstream access has been defined by PTS as situations where (a.) the incumbent provides the DSL access link and hands over the bitstream to the alternative operator directly after the DSLAM and (b.) the incumbent provides the DSL access link plus a backhaul service and hands over the bitstream to the alternative operator at an ATM-PoP. This definition coincides with levels 1 and 2 in the European Regulators’ Group’s (“ERG”) Common Position on Bitstream Access of 2 April 2004. Document available on the ERG

web site (www.erg.eu.int).

(1) Access obligation: obligation to meet any reasonable requests for bitstream access from other operators.

(2) Price regulation: obligation to apply margin-based pricing (“retail minus”) for wholesale bitstream access.4

(3) Non-discrimination: obligation to provide wholesale bitstream access on nondiscriminatory terms.

(4) Cost accounting: obligation to keep separate accounts for the provision of wholesale bitstream access.

(5) Reference offer: obligation to publish a reference offer.

III. COMMENTS

The Commission has examined the notification and the additional information provided by PTS and has the following comment.

Cable-TV networks as alternative infrastructure for the provision of wholesale bitstream access: First, the Commission would like to reiterate the definition of wholesale broadband access in the Annex to the Recommendation on relevant markets6, which covers PSTN-based bitstream access as well as “wholesale access provided over other infrastructures, if and when they offer facilities equivalent to bit-stream access.”

In its notification, PTS concludes that the market for wholesale broadband access includes cable-TV networks when bitstream connections are provided over these networks. The Commission considers that PTS’s approach to market definition is consistent with the Commission’s Recommendation on relevant markets and notes that no bitstream connections are currently provided over cable-TV networks in Sweden. Consequently, the Commission invites PTS to make it clear in its final decision that cable-TV networks are excluded from the relevant product market.

As far as potential competition is concerned, the Commission notes that PTS identifies several impediments to entry into the relevant market. Therefore, PTS is invited to consider concluding in its final decision that it is unlikely for cable-TV operators to enter the market for wholesale bitstream access in the near future. On the basis of this, potential competition from cable-TV operators could only constrain to a very limited extent, if at all, the market behaviour of the current providers of wholesale bitstream access.

4 PTS does not envisage imposing cost-based pricing for wholesale bitstream access since such a pricing regime would be likely to reduce competing operators’ incentives to invest in local loop unbundling (“LLU”). Moreover, PTS considers that margin-based pricing reduces the risk of prize squeeze effects at the retail level.

5 Pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Framework Directive.

6 Commission Recommendation 2003/311/EC of 11 February 2003 on relevant product and service markets within the electronic communications sector susceptible to ex ante regulation in accordance with Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on a common regulatory framework for electronic communication networks and services, OJ L114, 8.05.2003, p. 45.

Pursuant to Article 7(5) of the Framework Directive, PTS must take the utmost account of comments of other NRAs and the Commission and may adopt the resulting draft measure and, where it does so, shall communicate it to the Commission.

The Commission’s position on this particular notification is without prejudice to any position it may take vis-à-vis other notified draft measures.

Pursuant to Point 12 of Recommendation 2003/561/EC, the Commission will publish this document on its website.7 The Commission does not consider the information contained herein to be confidential. You are invited to inform the Commission within three working days following receipt of the present letter whether you consider, in accordance with Community and national rules on business confidentiality, that this document contains confidential information which you wish to have deleted prior to such publication. You should give reasons for any such request.8

Yours faithfully,

For the Commission,

Mario Monti
Member of the Commission

7 Commission Recommendation 2003/561/EC of 23 July 2003 on notifications, time limits and consultations provided for in Article 7 of Directive 2002/21/EC, OJ L 190, 30.7.2003, p. 13.

8 Your request should be sent either by email: INFSO-COMP-ARTICLE7@cec.eu.int or by fax: +32-2-298 87 82.

pts.se

TeliaSonera takes full ownership of Omnitel

TeliaSonera’s subsidiary Amber Mobile Teleholding has signed the contract for the purchase of the Kazickas family’s 10-pct interest in Omintel.

This transaction makes AMT the sole shareholder of the Lithuanian mobile communication service provider. Telia Sonera has agreed to pay USD 63.5 million for the shares. The price is based on Omnitel’s evaluation at USD 603 million for the 100 percent of the stocks. The transaction is to be finalised today.

“This agreement is an important step in implementing TeliaSonera’s strategic plans of strengthening its position in the Nordic region and the Baltics, seeking to provide services of better quality to the clients,” said Kenneth Karlberg, the company’s president for Norway, Denmark and the Baltic States.

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„TeliaSonera“ įsigijo bendrovei „Motorola“ priklausantį 35 procentų „Omnitel“ akcijų paketą

„Lideika, Petrauskas, Valiūnas ir partneriai“ profesionalai buvo teisiniai patarėjai įmonei „TeliaSonera“ tampant vienintele „Omnitel“ savininke. „TeliaSonera“ susitarė sumokėti 63,5 milijonų JAV dolerių, įskaitant dividendus, kurie priklausytų Kazicko šeimai už akcijas atsižvelgiant į laikotarpį iki sandorio užbaigimo. Akcijų kaina paskaičiuota remiantis „Omnitel“ vertės nustatymu, kuri siekia 603 milijonus JAV dolerių už 100 procentų akcijų.

„TeliaSonera“ visiškai kontroliuojama dukterinė įmonė „Amber Mobile Teleholding AB“ sudarė sutartį su Kazicko šeima dėl pastarajai priklausančių 10 procentų Lietuvos bendrovės UAB „Omnitel“ akcijų paketo įsigijimo. Įsigijusi šias akcijas, „TeliaSonera“ tapo vienintele „Omnitel“ akcininke.

2003 rugpjūčio mėnesį „TeliaSonera“ įsigijo bendrovei „Motorola“ priklausantį 35 procentų „Omnitel“ akcijų paketą, tuo padidindama jai priklausančių akcijų dalį iki 90 procentų. Šis sandoris, gavus Lietuvos konkurencijos tarybos leidimą, užbaigtas 2003 metų gruodžio mėnesį.

„Omnitel“ – pirmoji Rytų Europoje įsteigta privati telekomunikacijų bendrovė – yra didžiausia mobiliojo ryšio operatorė Baltijos šalyse, 2004 m. birželio mėnesio pabaigoje turėjusi 1,14 milijono abonentų. Šiuo metu bendrovės užimama bendra rinkos dalis sudaro apie 47 procentus. 1991 m. dr. Juozas P. Kazickas įkūrė bendrovę „Litcom“, vėliau tapusią „Omnitel“.

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