Press Releases

ANRCTI Launches the First Regulatory Strategy for the Romanian Electronic Communications Sector



Today, November, 2007, during the international conference entitled “Reforming the Communications Regulation: In Search of the Winning Strategy” organised by ANRCTI, representatives of the telecom industry, of the European Commission and of the Authority analyse the proposed objectives of the regulatory strategy for the next three years. More than 250 participants discuss on the position paper on the regulatory strategy for the Romanian electronic communications sector for 2007-2010.


”It was our intention to elaborate a strategy that is relevant, applicable and useful. Moreover, we intended to ensure consistency with the national and international policies and strategies in the field of electronic communications and in other correlated domains. In time, it became obvious that we needed a multiannual instrument that should enable an increased coherence and effectiveness of the regulatory decisions, while improving the transparency and predictability of the regulatory framework, Dan Georgescu, the ANRCTI President, declared.

ANRCTI launched the strategic analysis substantiating this document in March 2007, assisted by the consultancy company TASC Strategic Consulting Ltd. This project involved complex activities: not only market studies conducted among users, but also collecting specific information from representative lots of operators, organising work sessions with industry representatives, investigating the information system of ANRCTI and verifying certain hypotheses from the standpoint of practices adopted in other jurisdictions.

The diagnosis-analysis of the Romanian electronic communications sector revealed a number of deficiencies that broaden the discrepancy between the concrete reality of the sector and its ideal functioning conditions. The most important deficiencies assessed were the unsatisfactory levels of competition, innovation and consumer awareness.

Based on the results of the diagnosis-analysis, ANRCTI proposes a set of 5 objectives for the sector regulation throughout the next 3 years.

The first strategic regulatory objective is: create conditions for sustainable infrastructure-based competition, whilst facilitate, when effective, service-based competition. The principle of minimal regulatory intervention suggests that the type of competition requiring the least regulatory intervention is likely to yield the results that are the closest to ”perfect competition”, that is why preference has been granted to infrastructure-based competition, rather than to service-based competition.

A second objective reads: promote the development of broadband Internet access services, in particular via multi-product platforms such as IP, and strive to reach the largest possible consumer basis. Broadband Internet is still at an early stage of development in Romania, featuring booming growth rates. Nevertheless, Romania ranks much below the average EU penetration rate in the broadband Internet sector, even if the definition of broadband in Romania provides a minimum speed of 128 kbps. Moreover, in our country, the copper and coaxial cable networks are used mainly for the provision of individual ranges of services[1], which means that resources are deployed at inefficient levels. In view of promoting the development of broadband Internet access services, ANRCTI will consider the possibility of introducing ”bitstream” access solutions on the existing networks, as well as measures regarding the more efficient use of the spectrum.

ANRCTI proposes that the third strategic regulatory objective should be: ensure that different profiles of users (residential and business, urban and rural), get the “best value for money” for electronic communications services. Best value for money is a quality indicator for assessing the benefits a consumer may gain from the services or products available, at a certain price level.

Transparency, plainness and availability of information are part of the fourth strategic objective of ANRCTI for the next 3 years, which envisages creating an environment where information on service availability, supply conditions and pricing, is transparent, non-complex and available to all Romanian consumers. The tariff packages and schemes available for the end-users are becoming increasingly complex and the ANRCTI strategy provides for making available, by means of a website, an instrument that should allow comparisons regarding the tariffs and conditions offered by different providers, in order to enable the end-users to make independent choices. ANRCTI will also seek to establish the categories of information that must be presented within the itemised bills issued by the telephony providers.

The diagnosis-analysis indicates that the provision of bundled services may be both beneficial and detrimental to the evolution of the electronic communications sector. But a balance analysis of the two aspects has revealed that, in the Romanian market, the benefits of the bundled services are more prominent than the disadvantages by stimulating consumption, which is an essential requirement at this stage of the sector development. The Authority will monitor the impact of bundled services on competition and will take steps, where required, in order to ensure that dominant position services are also individually provided and to restrict ”unfair bundles”, that prevent the competitors to provide a similar bundle in competitive conditions. Therefore, the fifth strategic regulatory objective envisages ”non-interference with the natural emergence of bundled services, as long as they do not adversely impact competition or consumer choice”.

The position paper on the regulatory strategy for the Romanian electronic communications sector for 2007-2010 is available on the ANRCTI website for public consultation until December 14, 2007.

[1] E.g., in most cases, the fixed telephony platform is different from the broadcasting platform, the most widespread cluster of services.