Press Releases

Services of (re)transmission of audio-visual programmes – the growth engine of the electronic communications sector

„The services of (re)transmission of audio-visual programmes, along with the mobile telephony, have been the main growth engine of the electronic communications sector, lastly. The subscription services of retransmission of audio-visual programmes (especially through analogical cable and DTH) feature one of the highest penetration rates at the European level, i.e. 62.4% at household level in June 2007”, Mr. Dan Georgescu, the ANRCTI President, declared during the 12th edition of the Cable Communications Convention, organised in Bucharest these days.


The ANCRTI President added that, as far as the retail market of subscription services of retransmission (through cable and satellite networks) of audio-visual programmes is concerned, the diagnosis-analysis conducted by TASC, the consultants who assisted ANRCTI in the elaboration of the first position paper on the regulatory strategy for the Romanian electronic communications sector for 2007-2010, revealed a series of deficiencies.


First, notwithstanding the relatively similar market shares, at national level, of the two main providers (RCS & RDS and UPC), at the level of specific geographic areas in the urban area (ex. neighbourhoods), most consumers use the services of one provider. This situation, together with the limited degree of replication of the two providers’ networks, leads to a high potential for geographic dominance. Nevertheless, it is expected that, during the coming three years, the development of the DTH offers should be the main competition driver, which should significantly improve the competitive environment at national level and should diminish the potential for geographic dominance of the cable operators.


The second deficiency was identified to be the unsatisfactory innovation level, generated by the low digitalization rate and underpinned by the forecasts regarding the limited expansion of value-added services such as Video on Demand, Personal Video Recorder or Pay per View.


Moreover, an important deficiency in the sector is the lack of a coherent policy of access on public property at national level, which facilitates the adoption of heterogeneous and sometimes abusive policies by the local authorities. This lack of consistency significantly hinders the network roll-out planning and creates higher market entry barriers. Furthermore, cable operators face the most difficulties in the shared use of the infrastructure elements (masts, ducts, pillars etc.) owned by Electrica, Romtelecom and the local companies of urban transport.


„ANRCTI has been promoting the adoption of the draft law on the infrastructure associated to electronic communications networks,” Mr. Georgescu declared during the opening session of the Cable Communications Convention.


The ANRCTI President also referred to the obligation of the Bucharest providers of services of (re)transmission of audio-visual programmes to bury their cables, mentioning that ”the NetCity project may be considered a necessity from the urban planning standpoint and could bring benefits to the Capital, but the details of implementing this project (e.g. execution and operation) will be decisive”. He underlined that ANRCTI will strictly monitor the evolution and the implementation of this project.


”If this initiative brings about a new market player, a network provider and an infrastructure developer, the industry will surely thrive. On the contrary, if the project results in suppressing the alternative infrastructure in one of the most competitive segments of the Romanian communications market – Bucharest –, and in replacing the infrastructure-based competition (the optimal form of competition, with the highest self-sustaining potential, by service-based competition, relying on a unique infrastructure, the Romanian communications sector will lose all it has gained throughout the last 5 years, since liberalisation. In this context, I would like to emphasize the fact that ANRCTI will not tolerate a new monopoly, not even an underground one.”  Mr. Dan Georgescu added.