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Anacom analyzes Vodafone’s refusal to provide interconnection to Radiomóvel (Updated)

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Vodafone has ten days to comment on the refusal to provide interconnection to Radiomóvel. The same period is granted by Anacom to the operator and Radiomóvel to comment on the regulator’s draft decision on the issue that opposes the two companies.

In this preliminary decision, the regulator considers the possibility of intervening to resolve the issue and «to encourage and guarantee adequate interconnection, as well as the interoperability of services, with a view to considering efficiency and sustainable competition and providing maximum benefit to end users. «, details a statement.

The question that opposes Vodafone and Radiomóvel arose in 2003, when the first interconnection request was made by Radiomóvel. The operator led by António Carrapatoso continues to refuse to connect its network to that of Radiomóvel since then based on the fact that «the law does not result in the possibility for SMRP operators to interconnect, without restrictions, with other telecommunications networks and services. for public use «, justifies a response to the request dated 2004.

In the same document, Vodafone explains that in the scope of the analysis of the responses of the public consultation for the provision of SMRP-CDMA services, Radiomóvel was only qualified to interconnect with fixed network service providers.

In April this year, Radiomóvel again insisted on sending a new letter to Vodafone and threatening to appeal to the authorities. The request was answered in June with Vodafone maintaining its position and considering that there have been no changes since the formulation of Radiomóvel’s first request that justifies a change of position by the operator.

It is from this response that the request for intervention from Anacom arises, which was rejected by the regulator for having passed more than a year after the start of the dispute.

Even so, the regulator decided to act and three years after the start of the process, he goes «on his own initiative», as they also foresee his competences, ascertain the reasons that support the positions of both operators and «consider the need and opportunity to intervene», as the communiqué now published informs.

Contacted by TeK, «Vodafone confirms that it has been notified of this draft determination by Anacom». «We are preparing our response where we will reiterate our understanding of Radiomóvel’s interconnection request. Our position remains and has been previously transmitted to both Radiomóvel and Anacom», explains Carlos Correia, director of regulation and relationship with Vodafone Portugal operators.

The responsible explains again that Radiomóvel is licensed for the provision of SMRP – Mobile Service of Shared Resources, which consists of the establishment of communications between users of closed groups, being allowed only the establishment of communications with other telecommunications services for use public provided that these communications are made through interconnection with the fixed telephone service.

«In the opinion of Vodafone Portugal, Radiomóvel is not granted the option of interconnecting, without restrictions, with other public use telecommunications networks and services, and communications outside the closed group must always assume a complementary and accessory character within the scope of SMRP «, justifies.

Vodafone therefore considers that the provision of other electronic communications services, using the frequencies allocated for the provision of SMRP «implies a flagrant violation of the principles of equality and competition, as it allows Radiomóvel to enter extremely advantageous conditions in a market where other mobile operators operate, namely with respect to coverage obligations, market access costs, payment of regulatory fees and subject to legal and regulatory obligations «.

Editorial Note [21:55]: The news was updated with clarifications from Vodafone.

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