AKEP rejects Neofone appeal

26 Apr 2018

Albania’s Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (Autoritetit Te Komunikimeve Elektronike Dhe Postare, AKEP) has dismissed an appeal from fixed line/VoIP provider Neofone regarding termination of international voice calls on mobile networks. Neofone claimed that AKEP’s decision to handle the termination of national and international calls on mobile networks as two different markets ‘violated the principle of non-discrimination according to EU directives’ which state that the origin of traffic is to be disregarded, adding that the EC has defined only a market for call termination on public mobile networks. The provider went on to state there was no competition in the market, as each cellco had a monopoly on the termination of calls on their respective networks, and requested that the regulator designate the providers as having significant market power (SMP) and to impose the same measures on calls of an international origin as those that originate within Albania.

AKEP refused the request, saying that it had covered the matter in the mobile market analysis and other documents. AKEP’s position is that international call termination in a mobile network is not part of the relevant call termination market in mobile networks and, as such, the SMP obligations are only applicable to national calls. The regulator also noted that, as part of an ongoing consultation, the document ‘Mobile market analysis: wholesale access and origin market: wholesale international call termination and retail market of mobile service’ was approved for public consultation in February 2018 and was due to close on 28 April 2018. The consultation is taking opinions from operators, the competition authority and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).