The definition of termination prices for the coming year is at the center of the concerns of operators who ask the regulator for faster and more predictable decisions. The question was raised in a panel on regulation at the 19th APDC Congress and Ferrari Careto, Anacom administrator, responded by promising a draft decision «probably for this year».
In view of a comparative analysis of the situation in Portugal, European average values and best practices, presented by Ferrari Careto, Carlos Correia, responsible for regulation at Vodafone, admits that if at mobile terminations we are on average and we assume that the path is for reduce the values. But it points the finger at Anacom for the lack of decision in this area. «It is unacceptable that there are still no figures for the next year and a horizon for the next two or three years», he stresses.
The demand for a quick decision was also made by Filipa Carvalho, from Sonaecom, who also takes up an old issue: the operator of the Sonae group wants the reintroduction of asymmetric regulation, which he recalls that he only benefited for a year, while in Europe there are operators who have had this protection for five or more years.
Although there is still no decision, Ferrari Careto admits that operators know that the trend is downward and remembers that this time it is necessary to do a market analysis, which takes longer. Without commenting on the possibility of reintroducing asymmetry in mobile termination prices, Anacom’s administrator also stresses that the decision will not be applicable for two to three years, but for a shorter period because a costing model is being defined according to the European Commission’s definitions.
Regarding origination prices, which are not regulated, Ferrari Careto confesses that «we are not satisfied with the evolution of origination prices that naturally accompany termination prices. We will have to refer the matter to the Competition Authority».
«Fairly good» scenario
In an analysis of the current communications landscape, Ferrari Careto had made a presentation in his introduction on the challenges of regulation and trends, where he graphically showed the situation of the Portuguese market in comparison with the European average and the best practices of the 5 best countries for the wholesale market, competition, the penetration rate of services and retail prices.
In general, the Anacom administrator explains that in the wholesale price scenario Portugal has a better situation than the European average, which in some cases is close to the best practices. In terms of competition, we are better off in a very particular aspect of the Portuguese case, which is the percentage of subscribers to alternative fixed services with direct access.
In terms of service penetration rates, mobile broadband stands out, as a result of e-schools and e-schools initiatives, and in retail prices the outlook is also «reasonably good», justifies Ferrari Careto.
«This does not mean that everything is fine, there are situations in which it is necessary to make improvements, namely processes», justifies the administrator of Anacom. The fact that Portugal compared well with the European average in relation to the four views presented and that it was mostly far from best practices also served as a motto for a question that Ferrari Careto raised to the panel, about whether we want to align with the best practices.
The response of the operators was thoughtful, and, although theoretically positive, it received the brakes specific to each vision, especially in situations where it involves a drop in prices, such as the case of the aforementioned termination, especially in the current economic situation.