Apritel criticizes Portuguese position in ECTA’s study on competition in telecommunications

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Apritel today issued a statement commenting on the Portuguese position in the latest assessment of the European telecommunications market by ECTA – European Competitive Telecommunications Association, an analysis that for the first time includes Portugal. The document concludes that the country is the fifth least competitive among the 16 analyzed. The United Kingdom leads the table, being among all the countries analyzed the one with the best conditions for access to the market, a position that is worth a little more than 100 points. Portugal, which is in 12th place in the table, does not go beyond 60 points, just ahead of Hungary, Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic.

In view of the data, the association of telecommunications operators considers that «although the full liberalization of the telecommunications market formally took place almost 6 years ago, Portugal remains at the forefront of Europe in terms of competition in fixed telecommunications and Internet access». Apritel adds that the data presented allows to question the government’s objectives of massification of the Internet and the intention to place Portugal among the three European countries with the most competitive prices in this area, by 2010.

The association recognizes that the legal framework, statutes and resources of the Portuguese regulator are «among the most appropriate at European level», but considers that «the conditions of wholesale offers and concrete regulatory measures to promote market access remain among the worst in Europe «.

«Portugal continues to be among the European markets with less conditions for alternative operators, which makes it extremely difficult to sell offers competing with those of the historic operator», stresses António Coimbra, president of Apritel.

The official adds that «Portugal is in this specific area of ​​the countries that presents the worst performance, since being among those that have a more adequate legal framework and more favorable instruments for the regulator’s activity, it ends up being simultaneously among those that have worse results in terms of market terms «.

The association also points to the fact that the study demonstrates «that the protectionism of incumbent operators only leads to mediocre economic performances to the detriment of consumers». According to the document, «good regulation» generates investment in the sector, a relationship proven by the example of the United Kingdom, where the regulatory body is independent. In that country, telecommunications operators invest $ 184 per capita, against $ 68 per capita in Germany, where the regulatory model has protected the incumbent.

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