ComReg launches consultation on fixed line call market

20 Sep 2006

Ireland’s telecoms regulator the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is consulting with industry players to determine whether effective competition exists in the market, or whether new regulation is needed. The review will also examine eircom’s role as an operator with significant market power (SMP): ‘ComReg has examined eircom’s market share in the respective markets; retail call prices, and the impact of VoB [voice over broadband] among non-residential users,’ the watchdog said in a statement. ComReg is concerned about the existence of some bars to competition, but firstly is seeking input from those affected on the nature of the restrictions and on whether eircom is abusing its dominant position. Local press reports that ComReg is proposing that four national markets for fixed calls are defined: retail residential domestic calls from a fixed location; retail residential international calls from a fixed location; retail non-residential domestic calls from a fixed location; and retail non-residential international calls from a fixed location.

The consultation forms part of a wider series of review on the telecoms market that ComReg has undertaken in recent months. One such review covers the area of so-called ‘Unlicensed Mobile Access’ (UMA), which allows telecoms providers to use standard mobile technology and unlicensed wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi to deliver telecommunications services to consumers. Wholesale international roaming and narrowband access have also been the subject of similar reviews. The regulator has requested interested parties to submit their comments on the fixed line calls market by 18 October.