Are communications networks or services regulated? If so what activities are covered and what licences or authorisations are required?

Technology (second edition)

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

Yes, communications networks and services are regulated in Indonesia. Law No. 36 of 1999 regarding Telecommunications (September 8, 1999) divides telecommunications operations into three areas:

a. telecommunications networks:

  1. Fixed-line networks consisting of local, domestic long-distance, international and closed fixed networks; and
  2. Mobile networks consisting of mobile terrestrial networks, mobile cellular networks and mobile satellite networks.

b. telecommunications services:

  1. Basic telephone services using circuit-switched technology or other technology to provide telephone, facsimile, telex, telegraph and data transmission services;
  2. Value-added telephone services including premium calls, calling cards, virtual private phone numbers, store and forward, and call centres; and
  3. Multimedia services including internet service providers, network access points, internet telephony and data communication system services.

c. special telecommunications for individual purposes, security and defence.

The license required would ultimately depend on the field of telecommunication in which the business entity is engaged. Generally, the license or approval to engage in the telecommunication business will have to be obtained from the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (“MOCI”) or one of its Directorates General.

The Netherlands Small Flag The Netherlands

The Dutch Telecommunications Act (Telecommunicatiewet) regulates the provision of electronic communications networks (ECNs) and electronic communications services (ECS). These categories are then further sub-divided into public and private providers.

Subject to certain exemptions (mostly concerning the use of spectrum), private and public communications providers have a general authorization to operate in the Netherlands and do not require a licence, permit, consent etc. The concept of general authorization is derived from the European Authorisation Directive which has been implemented in the EU Member States.

There is however an obligation to register with the Dutch telecoms regulator (see question 2 below) if one of the following activities are carried out in the Netherlands:

  1. Providing public electronic communications networks;
  2. Proving public electronic communications services;
  3. Implementing or providing related facilities for the above.

An "electronic communications network" is defined as:

a) a transmission system for the conveyance, by the use of electrical, magnetic or electro-magnetic energy, of signals of any description; and

b) such of the following as are used, by the person providing the system and in association with it, for the conveyance of the signals:

(i) apparatus comprised in the system;

(ii) apparatus used for the switching or routing of the signals; and

(iii) software and stored data.

An "electronic communications service” means a service consisting in, or having as its principal feature, the conveyance by means of an electronic communications network of signals (except in so far as it is a content service).

An electronic communications network or service is qualified as being "public" if the network or service is provided to the general public and available for anybody who desires to use it. The fact that an entity provides a service to a specialized group of users does not in itself imply that the service is not public. The District Court of Rotterdam has held that it is not relevant whether a service only targets corporations that use the service for their employees. Also, the fact that a provider provides a service to a specific group of users under special conditions, does not imply that the service cannot be considered public.

To be considered a "provider" of a public electronic communications network or service, that party should be responsible for the transmission of signals through an electronic communications network, regardless of the nature of the service or the infrastructure used. In accordance with case-law of the European Court of Justice, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven, the highest administrative court in these matters) has held that e-mail providers, such as Gmail or Hotmail, cannot be qualified as providers of electronic communications services, as these entities are not responsible for the transfer of signals through electronic communications networks that is required to make use of their e-mail services.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Yes, both are regulated in Brazil. In order to provide telecom services, the interested party has to apply for a telecommunications license and a spectrum license (when the service depends on the use of spectrum). Each service is regulated individually, either through a federal law (which is the case of pay-TV services) or regulations enacted by the telecom regulator (Nacional Agency of Telecommunications – “Anatel”). The most common licenses held by Brazilian companies are: (i) fixed switched telephone services (“FSTS”); (ii) cellular telephone services; (ii) pay-TV (named as SeAC – conditioned access service); and (iii) multimedia communications service license (for broadband data and transmission of voice and image signals).

Over-the-top (“OTT”) providers (such as Netflix, WhatsApp, WeChat, among others) are not regulated as telecommunications companies and may be offered without a license.

Networks are also regulated. Mandatory interconnection, offer of wholesale network capacity, duty of equal treatment and non-discrimination and net-neutrality are among the important rules. Sharing of non-utilized network infrastructure among telecommunication companies and between telecommunications companies and utility companies operating in energy and oil & gas sectors are also mandatory.

Net-neutrality, assured by Law No. 12,965/2014 (“Internet Act”), is a principle applicable to Internet service providers that forbids different treatment of internet traffic based on its origin, destination, application or content. Any discrimination or degradation of data traffic may only occur (i) based on technical requirements essential to the adequate provision of services and applicationsor (ii) to give priority to emergency services. This matter was further regulated by Decree No. 8,771/2016, which regulates the Internet Act.

Luxembourg Small Flag Luxembourg

Yes, communications networks and services are regulated in Luxembourg by the Laws on Electronic Communication Networks and Services from 27 February 2011. The laws do not apply to the communications networks and services installed and exploited by the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for its own needs. Providers of communications networks and services generally do not require a specific licence or authorization to operate. Instead, they can rely on a 'general authorisation', meaning that only a notification must be filed with the Luxembourg Institute of Regulation (ILR) at least 20 days before the initiation of a telecommunications service. The ILR publishes on its website a list of the notified companies.

The communications services and networks which are in scope for the purposes of being regulated are:

  • 'electronic communications networks'- i.e. transmission systems, communication and routing equipment; and
  • 'electronic communications services' - i.e. a service offered against compensation, that consists entirely or mainly out of the transmission of signals by electronic communications networks. This does not include the services of providing content through electronic communications networks and services or exercising editorial responsibility for this content. This does also not include information society services that do not entirely or mainly consist of the transmission of signals through electronic communications networks.

Romania Small Flag Romania

Yes. The main legal instrument governing communication networks and services is the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2011 on electronic communications (“GEO 111/2011”), which transposes the main EU provisions in the field of electronic communications. This legal instrument covers all activities in the field of communications networks and services. The GEO 111/2011 establishes the general framework for regulation of electronic communications networks and services, the authorization of such activities and promotes competition on the market. In addition, there is special legislation encompassing laws and emergency ordinances on certain topics as well as secondary legislation (mainly government decisions and enactments of the telecom body).

The provision of electronic communications networks and services is subject to (i) general authorization and (ii) licenses for the use of limited resources for the provisions of electronic communications networks and services, such as radio frequencies, numbering resources and other associated technical resources. These licenses are subject to certain technical parameters and are granted for a limited period of time. The general authorizations as well as the licensees are issued by the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications ("ANCOM") in accordance with its decision no. 987/2012 on the general authorization regime for the provision of electronic communications networks and services.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Yes. Law 9/2014on Telecommunications (hereinafter, "Spanish Telecommunications Act"), which came into force on 9th May 2014, covers the provision of (public) electronic communication networks ("(P)ECN"), as well as the provision of public electronic communication services ("(P)ECS"). Certain additional requirements will apply to providers of publicly available telephone services ("PATS"), which are a sub-set of PECS. PATS is a service made available to members of the public for making and receiving national or international calls through a number in a national or international telephone numbering plan.

Pursuant to article 26 of Annex II of the Spanish Telecommunications Act, operator means a legal or natural person, which provides public communications networks or provides electronic communication services to the public and has notified the relevant authority at the beginning of its activity, or is registered under the Registry of operators.

Therefore, while in Spain it is not necessary to obtain authorisation for the provision of ECS or ECN, notification to the relevant authority remains mandatory. Prior to the provision of the services or networks, the provider should give notice of such activity to the Registry of operators, which is overseen by the Spanish Regulator, The National Commission of the Market and Competition (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y de la Competencia), commonly known as "CNMC".

The CNMC will then issue a reasoned Decision accepting or rejecting the notified activity within 15 days. If the CNMC does not issue a Decision within 15 days, the provider will be able to commence its activity.

Once registered, a service provider must notify the CNMC every three years of its intention to continue providing the ECS in question. Failure to do this will result in adversarial proceedings that may lead to the cancellation of the Operator's registration. If this happens the operator will not be able to continue providing the ECS.

The following link provides the template for making the notification ( Apart from company identification data, a description of the activity must also be included, as well as an estimated start date for the activity.

Although registration with the Registry of Operators is tax free, an annual administrative charge does apply (which is itself decided on a yearly basis) for each operator.

India Small Flag India

The communication networks and services are highly regulated in India. The (i) Indian Telegraph Act, 1885; (ii) Indian Wireless Telegraph Act, 1933; (iii) Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995; (iii) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997; and (iv) Information Technology Act, 2000, provide the statutory framework for all permissible activities in the domain. The requirement of licenses and authorisations for communication networks, services and devices is the norm and the following three Central Government Ministries oversee, regulate and grant the requisite licenses and authorisations: (i) the Ministry of Communications (MoC); (ii) the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY); and (iii) the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

The licensing framework can be broadly categorised into three sub-groups:

(i) Telecom and Spectrum: The MoC identifies the benefits of convergence and strives towards the idea of One Nation – One License and has introduced the Unified Licensing Regime for basic telephony, cellular mobile services and internet services among others. Spectrum, on the other hand was delinked from telecom licenses (in 2012) and is only allocated via an auction process.

(ii) Other Service Providers: Activities that have the potential to bypass the existing license conditions of authorised voice and data service providers are also regulated under a special category, called the Other Service Providers (OSP) category. For instance, call-centres are regulated under the OSP category, and these cannot commence or continue operations unless their network operations are cleared and authorised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the aegis of the MoC.

(iii) Broadcasting: Broadcasting services in India can be further bifurcated into two categories: (a) content services; and (b) carriage services. The MIB grants licenses and regulates both categories. License is required for operating (i) Community Radio Stations (content); (ii) private FM channels (content); (iii) Teleports and satellite TV Channels (content); (iv) Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) broadcasting services (carriage); (v) Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting services (carriage); (vi) cable company (Multi System Operator) services (carriage).

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

The Electronic Communications Law No. 5809, (“ECL”) and the Regulation on the Authorization in the Electronic Communication Sector (“Authorization Regulation”) are two main laws which govern the authorisation regime in Turkish telecommunications sector.

The ECL defines:

electronic communication as "the transmission, exchange and receiving of all kinds of signals, symbols, sounds, images and data which could be converted into electrical signals, by means of cable, radio, optic, electric, magnetic, electromagnetic, electrochemical, electromechanical and other types of transmission systems".

electronic communication infrastructure as “all kinds of network components, relevant facilities and the supplementary elements including switching equipment, hardware and software, terminals and lines; over or by which the electronic communications is provided”

As explained below under the relevant sections, providing electronic communication service and/or operating an electronic communication infrastructure is subject to authorization requirements. Also, we may state that there is no specific legislation or definition on the regulation of OTT services under the ECL.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Communication networks and services are mainly regulated in the Electronic Communications Act (Sw. Lag om elektronisk kommunikation) and the GDPR. The Radio and TV Act (Sw. Radio- och tv-lag) and the Radio Equipment Act (Sw. Radioutrustningslag) also contain relevant legislation.

The Electronic Communications Act applies to electronic communication networks and services and their corresponding installations, services and other radio usage. The transmitted content itself does not fall within the scope of the act. According to the act, public communication networks that are normally provided in exchange for money, and publicly accessible communication services, may only be provided if the business has been reported to the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (Sw. Post- och telestyrelsen).

Regarding businesses that only transfer signals via wires for the purpose of public broadcasting of programs in accordance with chapter 1, section 1, subsection 3 in the Freedom of Expression Act (Sw. Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen), no reporting to the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has to be done. This means that public broadcasting of e.g. radio, television, content from some databases and other transmissions via electromagnetic waves are unregulated in this aspect.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Communications networks and services are regulated on the federal level, with the main source of law being the Federal Act on Telecommunications of 30 April 1997, as amended (TCA). The TCA governs any transmission of information by means of telecommunications techniques, except for television and radio program services. Further sources of law include the Federal Ordinance on Telecommunications Services of 9 March 2007, as amended (OTS), and the Federal Ordinance on Telecommunications Installations of 25 November 2015, as amended (TIO). As regards electronic communications equipment, Swiss requirements are largely in line with international and particularly European standards. The Federal Council can adopt technical regulations on telecommunications installations, particularly basic technical requirements for telecommunications, evaluation, certification or declaration of conformity. OFCOM regularly designates technical standards. Compliance with these standards fulfils the basic requirements set out by the Federal Council. The standards are further explained in the TIO and the corresponding ordinance by OFCOM.

The telecommunications law framework applies to telecommunication service providers (TSPs), which are providers of services qualifying as telecommunication services. The TCA defines TSPs as services transmitting information for third parties using telecommunications techniques, which include the sending or receiving of information by wire, cable or radio using electrical, magnetic, optical or other electromagnetic signals.

There are two regulatory agencies in the telecommunications sector: the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) and the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) (see Question 2 below). Fixed line and mobile telephony/satellite services are regulated by the TCA and its implementing ordinances. As regards fixed line services, no license is required. Rather, TSPs must (only) notify OFCOM of the intention to operate electronic communications networks or provide respective services. However, ComCom awards one or more universal service licenses to TSPs to ensure that universal service is guaranteed for the whole population of Switzerland in all parts of the country. TSPs offering mobile telephony and satellite services require a license as they make use of the radio frequency system. Generally, ComCom grants these licenses following an open invitation to tender.. ComCom is currently preparing the allocation of new mobile radio frequencies in the second half of 2018. These frequencies can be used as of 2019. Providers of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services remain unregulated if they provide online services only, without transmitting data using telecommunications techniques. If the provider qualifies as a TSP (e.g. as a VoIP customer can also be reached by way of a fixed line telephone number as part of the public switched telephone network), the TCA applies. However, ComCom does not require such VoIP providers to fulfil all obligations the TCA imposes on regular TSPs; for example, they are under no duty to enable free carrier pre-selection (since there is no close link that needs to be broken between a network and a service operator) or the identification of the caller’s location in the case of emergency calls (which would be technically difficult to establish).

China Small Flag China

In China, the communications networks and services are highly regulated. According to the Telecommunication Regulation, the state divides all telecommunications services into two categories, i.e. Basic Telecommunications Services (BTS) and Value-Added Telecommunications Services (VATS). BTS essentially refers to the provision of infrastructure facilities and basic voice and data transmissions, both domestically and internationally. VATS refers to the provision of specialised services via the basic infrastructure facilities. China adopts a strict licensing system for the telecoms industry. Telecoms operators are required to obtain a licence to engage in either BTS or VATS. VATS license further includes the licenses for Internet Content Provider (ICP), Internet Service Provider (ISP), Call Centre, Internet Data Centre (IDC) and etc.

Regarding the communications networks, the construction of public telecommunications networks and dedicated telecommunications networks are planned and regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

Since 2014, telecommunications (namely, transmission or reception of signs, signals, data, images, sounds or information of any nature through physical or electromagnetic means), the networks through which such signals and information are transmitted, and the provision of telecommunication services (which services are considered as public services), are regulated by the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Act (“FTBA” or “LFTR” for its acronym in Spanish).

With respect to telecommunications networks, the FTBA regulates the use and exploitation of the radio spectrum and orbital resources (that is, orbital slots), as well as the deployment, operation, access, interconnection, infrastructure sharing and neutrality of said networks. Under the FTBA, it is not mandatory to obtain a license for the deployment and maintenance of a telecommunications network, unless such network requires the use of public goods, such as radio spectrum or orbital slots, the use and exploitation of which does require a license.

Notwithstanding, the foregoing, the FTBA requires that a concession (i.e., a license) be obtained for the provision of wholesale or retail telecommunications services. This license (the “sole concession” or concesión única) is granted for the provision of all kind of telecommunication services in a convergent manner through a public network, regardless if the relevant network is owned by the concessionaire, a third party or a combination thereof. The scope of the sole concession is determined pursuant to the type of services that the concessionaire intends to provide.

In addition to the sole concession, under the FTBA the following activities require a specific authorization: installing telecommunications equipment and transmission means that cross the borders of Mexico; exploiting signals and frequency bands related to foreign satellite systems for the provision of services in Mexico (landing rights); installing, operating or exploiting earth stations for the transmission of satellite signals; use radio spectrum frequency bands for diplomatic visits; and establishing and operating a telecommunications services broker (reseller). Brokers are able to resell services using third parties’ capacity or networks, or to market their own telecommunications services.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Communications networks and services in Malaysia are regulated under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (“CMA”). Persons who own or provide network facilities (“Network Facilities Providers”), persons who own or provide network services (“Network Service Providers”), persons who provide applications services (“Applications Service Providers”) and persons who own or provide applications services which provide content (“Content Application Service Providers”) require a licence under the CMA. The licences are further separated into licences for individuals and by classes.

France Small Flag France

The installation and operation of networks open to the public and the provision of electronic communication services to the public are free. Network operators and service providers (all of which are designated as ‘operators’) must, however, file a declaration with the national regulatory authority, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP). Through this declaration, the operators undertake to comply with the regulatory regime defined by the EU ‘Telecom Package’ (dating from 2002 and 2009, currently under revision) and the French Posts and Electronic Communications Code (CPCE, Art.L.32 et seq.).

An individual authorization by the ARCEP is required for the use of certain frequency bands such as those allocated to mobile telephony services (GSM, UMTS), radio local loops, radio-relay systems or satellite networks. In these cases, the regulatory regime is reinforced though additional obligations that are set out in the operators’ licenses.

On the other hand, a declaration to the ARCEP is not required for ‘independent networks’ (this corresponds to telecom services exchanged within closed user groups (ie. ‘VPN’)) or to radio installations using short-range frequencies that are not dedicated to their users (e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth).

Germany Small Flag Germany

Under German law communications networks and services are regulated by the Telecommunications Act (TKG) . The TKG covers activities of sending, transmitting and receiving of signals according to the term “telecommunications services” regulated in section 3 TKG. Service provider is any person who performs telecommunications services wholly or partly for commercial purposes or takes part in these performances of service. However a licence or authorisation for telecommunication service providers is not required. The operators just have to notify the Federal Network Agency about commencement, modification or termination of the activities in accordance with section 6 TKG.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

Communications networks and services are regulated in Singapore. A person providing communications networks should obtain a facilities-based operator ("FBO") licence. An FBO licensee would be allowed to deploy and/or operate any form of telecommunication infrastructure for the purpose of providing telecom services to end users or to other telecom licensees.

A person providing communications services should obtain a service-based operator ("SBO") licence. An SBO licensee may lease telecommunication infrastructure from FBO licensees to provide telecommunication services to end users or to resell telecommunication services of other telecoms licensees.

Both licences are issued by the Info-communications Media Development Authority ("IMDA") of Singapore.

Australia Small Flag Australia

There are two key pieces of legislation which regulate communications networks and associated matters in Australia, the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) (Telecommunications Act) and the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (Cth) (Radiocommunications Act).

The Telecommunications Act regulates the provision of telecommunications services in Australia. The owner of a network unit used to supply carriage services to the public (a carrier) must hold a carrier licence and comply with the conditions attached to that licence (or alternatively ensure another licensed carrier takes on those carrier obligations pursuant to a Nominated Carrier Declaration). An organisation which uses but does not own a network unit (a carriage service provider) is not required to hold a licence. Instead, a carriage service provider is required to comply with a range of obligations set out in Schedule 2 of the Telecommunications Act.

A key objective of the Telecommunications Act is to encourage industry self-regulation. The Communications Alliance Ltd (CA) is an industry owned and operated company formed to implement and manage self-regulation. The CA drafts industry codes and equipment standards which are then registered and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA itself also makes technical standards for specified items of telecommunications customer equipment, together with Cabling Provider Rules.

The Radiocommunications Act regulates the radiofrequency spectrum in Australia. Access to the radiofrequency spectrum is facilitated through licensing. There are three forms of licences available:

(a) apparatus licences, which regulate the operation of large scale radiocommunications equipment. Apparatus licences generally apply to equipment used by stations operating in Outpost, Amateur, Broadcasting, Maritime, Aircraft and Land Mobile services. The operation of equipment under such licences involves the payment of licence fees;

(b) class licences, which are open, standing authorities allowing anyone to operate particular radiocommunications equipment within the conditions of the licence. No applications are necessary and no fees are payable. Class licences regulate low power devices such as individual radios, mobile phones, cordless phones and garage door remotes; and

(c) spectrum licences, which are a tradeable and technology neutral spectrum access right for a fixed, non-renewable term. These licences authorise the use of spectrum space, allowing a licensee to deploy any device from the spectrum space which is compatible with the licence conditions.

The Radiocommunications Act also extends the traditional concept of radiocommunications to include radio transmission and transmitters, astronomical and meteorological observations, and the operation of lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys.

United States Small Flag United States

Providers of “telecommunications services” are regulated as common carriers by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") and many state public utility commissions ("PUCs"). The term “telecommunications service” is defined by the FCC to mean the offering of telecommunications – i.e., the transmission of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received – for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public. International common carriers are required to obtain FCC authorization. In addition, most states, including California, require intrastate domestic common carriers to obtain a state authorization.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is the primary law applicable to telecommunication services, including telephony, radio, broadcast and, to a limited extent, Internet services. The Act regulates telecommunication carriers' interconnection obligations, universal service obligations, broadcast spectrum and ownership provisions, cable services and restrictions related to obscenity and violence in programming. The Act had also applied to Internet services under the so called "net neutrality" rules, but recently the FCC overruled its prior finding that Internet services were telecommunication services regulated under the Act, and has rolled back associated net-neutrality regulations. At the state level, state public utility commissions have limited overlapping jurisdiction with the FCC, and can set rates for smaller rural telecom providers and establish franchises for cable service.

Licenses are required to provide telephony services (both landlines and wireless), as well as radio and television (broadcast and cable) services. Citizens band ("CB") radio may be operated without a license; otherwise, use of the public radio frequency spectrum for radio, television or wireless telephony requires authorization from the FCC and allocation of spectrum.

Section 214 Authorization. All new common carriers must register with the FCC and provide certain contact information. The FCC provides blanket authority for the provision of interstate telecommunications service on a common carrier basis, and this blanket authority covers all providers. Consequently, unlike international common carriers, which must secure Section 214 authorizations, interstate common carriers are not required to apply for prior FCC authorization. Before providing any international telecommunications service between the United States and another country, a new common carrier must apply for and obtain an international Section 214 authorization from the FCC.

Although foreign entities may hold international Section 214 authorizations, the application
process for a foreign entity to obtain a Section 214 authorization can take more than a year.
Team Telecom, a working group representing the U.S. Executive Branch, reviews Section
214 applications that involve foreign ownership to determine whether they raise national
security, law enforcement, foreign policy, or trade policy issues, and there is no deadline by
which Team Telecom must complete this review.

Intrastate telecommunications services are regulated by state PUCs. Although each state’s rules and procedures differ, many states require intrastate common carriers to register or obtain a state license prior to providing telecommunications services. Certain states, including California, mandate an application and approval process. In California, this approval process can take six to nine months. Other states merely require prior notice.

Japan Small Flag Japan

Telecommunications services (including businesses that provide telecommunications services) are regulated by the Telecommunication Business Act (the Telecom Act), which came into effect in 1985 when the telecommunications market of Japan was liberalised. The Wire Telecommunications Act and the Radio Act also regulate the establishment and operation of telecommunications facilities. Broadcasting is separately regulated by the Broadcasting Act.

Telecommunications services are defined as certain services that intermediate communications of third parties through the use of telecommunications facilities or that otherwise provide telecommunications facilities for the use of communications by third parties. Telecommunications facilities are broadly defined to include machines, equipment, wires and cables or other electrical facilities for the operation of telecommunications.

Under the Telecom Act, any person who intends to operate a telecommunications business must obtain registration from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), except in cases where (i) it installs no telecommunications circuit facilities, (ii) it only installs small-scale telecommunications circuit facilities (i.e., relevant telecommunication facilities remain within certain local area), or (iii) it installs radio facilities of radio stations which separately require a license under the Radio Act. In these exceptional cases, such person must file a notification with the MIC (instead of obtaining registration from the MIC).

Poland Small Flag Poland

Yes, this area is regulated in the Telecommunications Act of 16 July 2004.

Telecommunications activities which constitute business activities are regulated activities and are subject to entry in the register of telecommunications undertakings, run by the President of the Office of Electronic Communications (Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej – UKE). Telecommunications activities conducted by a telecommunications undertaking domiciled in another EU Member State or a state which has concluded with the European Community and its Member States an agreement on the freedom to provide services and which temporarily provides services in the territory of the Republic of Poland under the terms and conditions specified in the provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Community, Agreement on the European Economic Area or another agreement regulating the freedom to provide services, as appropriate, are also subject to entry in the register. As was mentioned above, any telecommunication activities which qualify as business activities are recognised as activities regulated by the Telecommunications Act.

Entry in the register of telecommunications undertakings is made on the basis of a request submitted by the undertaking or another entity authorised to perform business activities under separate provisions.

Operators of public telecommunications networks are also required to fulfil various information obligations, e.g. to submit information on the location and type of owned telecommunications infrastructure or public telecommunications network, on areas covered with the public telecommunications network in the preceding year, on new areas to be covered with the public telecommunications network in the current year, on annual revenues from performing telecommunications activities in the previous financial year, etc.

Updated: February 7, 2019