The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has opened a public consultation into the proposed lifting of regulation in the country’s fixed line market. The MCA has found that national operator GO is now competing on a par with alternative telcos, particularly multi-play provider Melita, while other new entrants have also enjoyed some success in the fixed arena. The regulator has therefore lifted the designation of GO as an operator with ‘significant market power’ (SMP), and says that regulatory intervention in local markets for retail access to the public telephone network at a fixed location is no longer warranted. Comments on its proposals are being accepted until 20 October 2014.
Separately, the MCA has published its statistical report for the second quarter to 30 June 2014, with the number of mobile subscriptions on the island falling slightly year-on-year, from 554,703 at end-June 2013 to 548,142 twelve months later. Call minutes have increase over the same period, however, from 162.39 million in Q2 2013 to 181.36 million in the most recent period. Average revenue per user (ARPU) also rose, from EUR41.76 (USD53.71) to EUR43.96. Meanwhile, the fixed telephony market saw a slight improvement in take-up, with overall subscriber numbers climbing to 232,469 from 229,919 on the back of a corresponding increase in fixed broadband connections, which rose from 140,711 to 148,411 in the year to 30 June 2014.