Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has taken two decisions to partly withdraw regulation in the country’s wholesale and retail sectors. The watchdog has published a regulatory order stipulating the future key elements of regulation in the interconnection of incumbent telecoms company Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) network with those of its competitors. According to the decision, DT will continue to be obliged to route connections through its network for call termination. Additionally, the company is required to route connections originating in its network to those of its competitors, especially call-by-call and pre-selection connections, and to allow premium service numbers in alternative networks to be reached. However, transit services handled over the incumbent’s network will be largely exempt from regulation in future. ‘Based on an in-depth market analysis, the FNA has come to the conclusion that transit services between various networks can now also be supplied by other providers due to the alternative network infrastructures available. Therefore, DT is no longer deemed to have significant market power in respect of these services,’ stated Matthias Kurth, president of the FNA.
The regulator has also decided to stop DT’s regulation regarding national fixed network connections in the retail sector, after research discovered that this market showed tendencies towards effective competition. The rates charged by DT in this sector will no longer be subject to approval by the regulator, although the company will still be required to submit the rates for call origination and call termination for ex-ante approval. ‘These two decisions prove once more that the FNA does not hold on to regulation rigidly, but will stop imposing regulatory restrictions where market conditions allow us to do so. In this respect, we shall observe the future development closely,’ Kurth added.