ANCOM publishes draft guidelines to open market for MVNOs

10 Feb 2012

Romania’s telecoms industry regulator the National Authority for Management and Regulation of Communications (ANCOM), today published a press release outlining draft guidelines for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to enter the domestic market. ANCOM’s Consultative Council reportedly presented the industry with details on the requirements that need to be met to launch a new service, saying it hopes that the advent of MVNOs will lead to ‘increased efficiency in the use of the existing mobile communications infrastructure and increased competition in the mobile communications market’. The watchdog’s president Catalin Marinescu said: ‘Mobile virtual operators may influence the level of retail prices by offering added innovation and different services as compared to those of the providers having their own networks … The appearance of mobile virtual operators in the Romanian market may represent an advantage for the mobile telephone networks operators, which will be able to sell wholesale traffic minutes to the [MVNOs] without making the effort to look for customers in the retail market, thus making maximum use of their networks’ capacity.’

ANCOM’s press release outlines that any would-be MVNO will be required to submit a proposal on its business strategy and operational model, and conclude an agreement with an existing network operator. Such agreements must include ‘the technical and commercial conditions for accessing the network [to] allow the provision of mobile communications services to end-users. At the same time, a mobile network operator shall negotiate with the potential mobile virtual operators based on the principles of contractual freedom and negotiation in good faith. The mobile network operator must allow an economically efficient exploitation and must offer non-discriminating conditions from the point of view of service quality as compared to those available to the mobile operator for its own business.’ ANCOM adds that MVNOs will have to observe Romania’s general authorisation regime and will be obliged to notify it when starting operation there.

The new draft guidelines have been drawn up in accordance with the European legislation, based on analysis of the provision of MVNOs in other communications market, as well as on the results of a consultation with the industry, conducted in 2011. The draft guidelines are available for consultation on the ANCOM website.