ALTERNATIVE telecommunications operators offering fixed-line services are presently going through a significant period that should result in their unlimited access to the public fixed-line telecommunications network now operated mainly by Slovenské telekomunikácie (the former state monopoly on fixed-line services).
1. What will the liberalisation of the telecom market bring to you and to customers?
eTel: The liberalisation will bring free competition that will increase the quality of offered services. The liberalisation will also give the customer better prices and more freedom in making decisions. In the fight for clients, companies will cater their offers of products and services to the requirements and needs of target groups. A client will profit from new services and lower prices, but especially in the higher quality of these services.
GTS: Liberalisation in general brings positive changes to any market, not only in telecommunications. We can say with certainty that later on, companies of lower quality or with less convenient prices than the dominant operator will show up, but there will finally be two or three strong operators that will be able to compete with the former monopoly. Clients will benefit from a competitive price and quality environment. In addition to the introduction of a vast market based on voice services, a space for using the infrastructure of local networks and loops will also open up to us, as alternative operators.
Amtel: The liberalisation of telecommunications, as in any other sphere, brings the possibility of opening the market and creating a competitive environment. Competition creates pressure on many aspects of the market, including price, quality, and a range of services.
2. What are the obstacles to creating a fully liberalised telecommunications market in Slovakia? What further steps are needed?
eTel: Legislation and the will of the responsible subjects to carry out liberalisation measures play a big role here. From this point of view, we are still behind developed Europe.
GTS: Definitely, it is the legislation. After the double disapproval of amendments of the present telecommunications law, the situation will improve only with the new law on electronic communications.
Amtel: The full liberalisation of telecommunications is guaranteed by the telecommunications act. However, the conditions for a competitive market have still not been created. It is about insufficient legislation, about the Telecommunications Office not being strong enough to work as an independent market regulator in conditions of market monopoly, and there are also the commitments of the Slovak government in its privatisation contract with Deutsche Telekom (the majority shareholder in Slovenské telekomunikácie). A new law based on the regulatory frame of the European Union and the creation of a strong independent regulatory body are needed.
eTel: Juraj Taptič
GTS: Stanislav Molčan
Amtel: Belo Strenitzer
13. Oct 2003 at 0:00 | Marta Ďurianová