Slovakia yet to meet EU's phone number portability rule

THE EUROPEAN Commission may not have started disciplinary proceedings against Slovakia for the country's failure to ensure that people can keep their telephone numbers even when they change services, but sanctions are at least on the horizon.

EU Commissioner Vivian Reding said during her visit to Slovakia on February 21 that the EU had taken Slovakia to the European Court due to its failure to meet the phone number "portability" condition, the SITA news wire wrote.

Reding argued that it was important for telecom company clients to be able to switch to another operator if they wished without having to give up the phone number they and their contacts had grown accustomed to.

On the other hand, the commissioner praised Slovakia's progress in the electronic communications sector, noting that the Slovak Telecom Bureau has already analyzed 15 markets under its authority.

Reding said that as a new country in the European Union, Slovakia cannot be expected to meet all the requirements immediately. The commissioner said she was confident that if Slovakia continued in its current direction, it would also resolve the remaining problems in the electronic communications sector.

The commissioner is working with the Slovak regulatory office to help it liberalize the telecom market, including securing number portability.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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