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Alternative operators applaud new LLU measures

10 Oct 2006

The Hungarian telecoms regulator the National Communications Authority (NHH) has put forward new terms and conditions that could improve the lot of the country’s alternative fixed line operators. According to reports from COMTEX, the revised rules cover a new improved Reference Unbundling Offer (RUO) that will allow altnets to use the infrastructure of the incumbent operators. Commenting on the developments, Pal Horvath, head of Actel, a majority-owned unit of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), said: ‘The currently approved RUOs are the result of better-than-ever communication between the authority and market stakeholders.’ He went on to say that while some of the compromises in the document were disappointing, a great many positive changes have been hammered out.

Hungary’s alternative operators have been calling for the NHH to implement an effective RUO since demand for ADSL lines began in 2002. Actel rival GTS Datanet agrees that having put up with practical problems over LLU until now, the new rules will make it easier to compete. ‘The new RUOs provide better technical conditions for local loop unbundling, which is as important for the alternatives as the price reduction,’ said Geza Szathmari, managing director of GTS Datanet.

The NHH published its proposed price reductions for operators deemed to have significant market power (SMP) in the fixed line market, for partial or full local loop access, in September 2006. Under the new set-up, the monthly and one-time fees of Magyar Telekom, Emitel, Hungarotel, Invitel and Monortel are set to drop to allow smaller service providers to better compete for customers.

Hungary, Invitel Holdings (formerly HTCC), Magyar Telekom, PanTel, UPC Hungary (part of Vodafone)

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