If so are these different for operators with market power?

Technology (3rd edition)

Armenia Small Flag Armenia

Every dominant operator shall file with the PSRC a Reference Offer for Interconnection setting out the interconnection services and the conditions upon which other operators may interconnect with the public electronic communications network of the given dominant operator.

If agreed by both parties, the conditions and prices of interconnection involving at least one dominant operator may be included in an agreement that will legally prevail over the corresponding Reference Offer for Interconnection.

Every dominant operator shall provide the copies of all interconnection agreements to the PSRC and the latter is entitled to reject, suspend, or amend the said.

Conditions of interconnection with a dominant operator shall be determined:

  • pursuant to the Reference Offer for Interconnection – as approved by the PSRC; where more than one Reference Offer for Interconnection is applicable, the PSRC shall determine the one to be applied;
  • by an agreement concluded between the interconnection seeker and the interconnection provider, which has been approved by the PSRC;
  • by the PSRC that acts as a dispute settlement body in accordance with the arbitration rules referred to in the Law.

Non-dominant operators may set forth proposed rates and conditions of interconnection in a standard contract form or in a Reference Offer for Interconnection.

Conditions of interconnection with a non-dominant operator shall be determined:

  • by an agreement between the interconnection seeker and the interconnection provider;
  • pursuant to the Reference Offer for Interconnection – as approved by the PSRC; where more than one Reference Offer for Interconnection is applicable, the Regulator shall determine the one to be applied;
  • by the PSRC that acts as a dispute settlement body in accordance with the arbitration rules referred to in the Law.
    Every dominant operator, which shall provide interconnection for public electronic communications services, must file a Reference Offer for Interconnection with the PSRC:
  • within ninety days after being identified as occupying a dominant position;
  • at least ninety days before the expiry date of the existing Reference Offer for Interconnection.

A Reference Offer for Interconnection filed by the operator or any part thereof may take effect upon the approval by the PSRC.

The Reference Offers for Interconnection of dominant operators shall include the commitment of the dominant operator to provide interconnection to the requesting operator not later than within forty-five days after the latter agrees to the conditions of interconnection.

Dominant operators shall be obliged to calculate the charges for interconnection and interconnection services in accordance with the following fundamental principles:

  • Costs shall be borne by the operator or operators; whose activities cause these costs;
  • Non-current costs shall be recovered through non-current charges, and current costs shall be recovered through current charges;
  • Usage-related non-variable costs shall be recovered at the account of presumptive payments, whereas usage-related variable costs shall be recovered through usage-based charges;
  • Costs shall include attributable operational expenditures and amortisation, as well as a reasonable amount estimated to receive reasonable return;
  • Interconnection price shall not include the value of recovery of common costs;
  • Where the PSRC is unable to receive reasonably sufficient, relevant and reliable information about the costs, it may take into account the comparable international standards. The PSRC may establish supplementary regulations governing the prices which a dominant operator may charge for interconnection services;
  • After public consultation, the PSRC may adopt supplementary rules governing the charges for interconnection services.
    Charges established by dominant operators for interconnection and interconnection services shall be transparent and public. Components of charges shall be explicitly separable and the methods of cost calculation shall be published.

Charges for interconnection services of a dominant operator shall not depend on the type of communication network creating or restricting the communication or the type of transmission through the interconnection point, except where the type of the network or of the transmission affects the cost of delivery of an interconnection service.

Тhe obligation to prove the compliance of charges for interconnection and interconnection services with the requirements of the above listed principles shall lie with the dominant operator. Upon availability of sufficient data about the costs, international criteria may be relied upon.

A dominant operator that interconnects its public electronic communications network to another public electronic communications network shall bring its system of costaccounting through calculation of charges and expenditures in line with the provisions of the Law within the time limits laid down by the PSRC. Meanwhile, the Regulator may rely upon the international criteria and unilaterally establish the interconnection rates after public consultation.

Dominican Republic Small Flag Dominican Republic

INDOTEL has not differentiated requirements for public telecoms operators with regards to its market power. As such, all interconnecting companies must present and file with INDOTEL a Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) setting forth the terms and conditions under which provide interconnection services to other companies.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

The Telecommunications Law does not provide for a differential treatment to operators with different/weak market powers. However, in practice, the NTRA may intervene to provide more privileges to new entrants to the market. In addition to that, we understand that the NTRA is currently in the process of amending its interconnection policies, rules and regulations in order to formulate a framework based on international principles and methodologies in order to enhance confidence between existing operators and new entrants in the Egyptian telecommunication sector and to prepare the Egyptian market for the unified licensing system. Accordingly, we may expect some amendments in the current regulations regarding a preferential treatment between operators based on their market share and power.

Estonia Small Flag Estonia

In line with Electronic Communications Act, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority will conduct the communications market analysis of the competitive situation in order to determine whether on the relevant market exists competition. The authority shall designate one or more undertakings with significant market power where the market analysis has revealed that there is no competition in the relevant communications market and the undertaking meets the characteristics of an undertaking with significant market power: i.e. the undertaking has its own or, together with other companies, significant market power or position it enables it (or jointly) to operate on that market to a significant degree independently of competitors, contractors and end-users.

To such undertakings special obligations related to access and interconnection might be imposed and they might be required to:

  1. provide a communications undertaking with access to specific network elements or network facilities, including full access or shared access to the local loop or local sub-loop;

  2. negotiate in good faith with communications undertakings requesting access;
  3. maintain already granted access;
  4. provide specific services on a wholesale basis for resale of such services by communications undertakings;
  5. grant open access to technical interfaces, protocols or other key technologies that are indispensable for the interoperability of services or virtual network services;
  6. to provide co-location or other forms of facility sharing, including sharing of ducts, buildings or masts;
  7. provide services necessary to ensure interoperability of end-to-end services to end-users, including facilities for intelligent network services or roaming service on mobile networks;
  8. provide access to operational support systems or similar software systems necessary to ensure fair competition in the provision of services;
  9. interconnect networks or network facilities;
  10. provide end-users with access to the services of a provider of telephone services associated with the network of an undertaking with significant market power by dialling a carrier selection code and by means of pre-selection of a provider of telephone services, with a facility to override any pre-selected choice on a call-by-call basis by dialling a carrier selection code;
  11. allow wholesale of local loops of the service specified in clause 10) of this subsection to another communications undertaking;
  12. provide access to an associated service.

If the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority has imposed an access or interconnection obligation on a communications undertaking as stated above, the respective communications undertaking is required to enter into an interconnection or access agreement and ensure access to networks, equipment or services and interconnect the networks and equipment within a reasonable term granted by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority, taking into account that the communications undertaking obligated to provide access or interconnection may need to create technical conditions, including to install equipment, for the provision of interconnection or access.

A communications undertaking, whereon the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority has imposed an access or interconnection obligation is required, upon performance of the access or interconnection obligation, to comply with the following requirements in accordance with the nature of the obligation:

  1. ensure the use of the network equipment, buildings and line facilities under equal conditions and with equal quality as compared to these offered by the undertaking to its parent company or subsidiaries, subscribers or business partners;
  2. enable an undertaking which has submitted an application for access or interconnection to obtain information necessary for access and interconnection;
  3. use the information obtained in connection with access or interconnection only for the provision of the respective service and not to disclose it to third parties, in particular other structural units, subsidiaries or partners, for whom such information could provide a competitive advantage, unless otherwise provided by law;
  4. not to restrict the access of its subscribers to the services provided by another communications undertaking.
    Law clearly prescribes occasions when the obliged operator may deny or suspend access or interconnection. Chapter 14 of Electronic Communications Act prescribes liability in case there is a violation by a communications undertaking providing network services of the access or interconnection obligation or if access or interconnection is unlawfully restricted.

France Small Flag France

Indeed, the operators which enjoy a position equivalent to a dominant position (in terms of anti-trust law) on sub-segments of the telecom market are listed by the ARCEP as ‘operators with significant market power’ (SMP) and may be subject to specific obligations in terms, for instance, of transparency, non-discrimination, accounting separation of their activities, access to their network elements and associated facilities (e.g., buildings, cables, wiring, antennae, etc…). The ARCEP may also impose price control. In all cases the agency must fulfill this mission in accordance with the EU Commission's guidelines on market analysis and the assessment of significant market power.

Nevertheless, other categories of operators which are not necessarily SMPs may also be subject to specific obligations. For instance, those which control access to end-users are required to ensure proper access to the services provided on other networks.

China Small Flag China

Yes. Under the Interconnection Provisions, an operator will be deemed ‘dominant’ if it controls necessary telecoms infrastructure and operates a fixed local telephone business which accounts for 50% or more of the market share of the same type of business within the scope of local networks such that the operator would have substantial influence over other business operators’ access into the telecoms market. Certain rules apply only to such dominant telecoms operators, including requirements to provide non-dominant telecoms operators with information on network functions, equipment configuration as well as other aspects related to the interconnection; to provide accommodative coordination and allow the use of communication facilities by non-dominant service providers without any unreasonable additional terms; and to provide, at the request of a non-dominant operator, a telephone number inquiry service to consumers of the other party’s networks.

Israel Small Flag Israel

The regulations covering interconnection between operators are not different for operators with market power. However, as regards the fixed-line sector, there are additional regulations which apply to operators having their own fixed-line infrastructure, which in fact hold a dominant position. The provisions set out under section 5 of the Communications Law, regarding the interconnection arrangements, apply respectively to the obligation of such providers to give other providers, which do not have a fixed-line infrastructure, access to their facilities, and to enable them to use their network or any component of a network, including passive infrastructure elements, such as pipes, ducts and manholes. This obligation is part of the “wholesale” policy and rules in Israel regarding the fixed-line domestic sector. Wholesale services, including the usage of others operators' network, their prices and the quality of the services are regulated, such that operators which do not have their own fixed-line infrastructure can compete with those which own the infrastructure. In addition to the above, telecoms regulations covering interconnection between operators operator with market power, which constitutes a monopoly in any telecommunications service, is subject to the provisions of the Competition Act, which prohibits, inter alia, the abuse of a dominant position.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Interconnection with operators having significant market power (i.e. those that, either individually or jointly with other operators, have the economic strength to behave – to an appreciable extent – independently from competitors, customers and consumers) is also regulated by Chapter III of the ECC.

According to article 45 of the EEC, where, as a result of the market analysis, an entity is designated as having significant market power on a specific market, the Authority shall impose, among others, the following obligations: (i) access and use of network resources/assets; (ii) transparency; (iii) nondiscrimination; (iv) accounting separation.

The above obligations must be based on the nature of the issues under investigation, be proportionate and justified in the light of the following objectives: (a) promotion of an open and competitive market; (b) contribution to the development of the internal market; (c) promotion of the interests of European citizens.

Japan Small Flag Japan

Under Article 32 of the Telecom Act, all telecommunications carriers must accept a request from another telecommunications carrier to interconnect the facilities of the requesting carrier with the circuit facilities that the requested carrier installs, except where (i) the interconnection is likely to hinder telecommunications services from being smoothly provided, (ii) the interconnection is likely to unreasonably harm the interests of the requested carrier, or (iii) there are justifiable grounds specified by an Ordinance of the MIC.

In addition, there are specific regulations on telecommunications carriers who install basic and important telecommunications facilities as designated by the MIC. Such designated carriers are obligated to establish interconnection tariffs concerning the amount of money that a carrier will receive and the technical conditions required at the points of interconnection with other carriers’ facilities. Such interconnection tariffs must be authorised by the MIC (in the case of fixed line facilities) or must be submitted to the MIC prior to implementation of the interconnection tariffs (in the case of mobile facilities).

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

The MCMC is empowered to direct a licensee in a “dominant position” in a communications market to cease conduct in that communications market which has, or may have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any communications market, and to implement appropriate remedies.

The MCMC-issued Guideline on Dominant Position, read together with the Competition Act 2010 (“Competition Act”) provides that in analysing whether a licensee is in a dominant position in a relevant communications market, the MCMC will consider the structure of the market and nature of competition in that market, including market shares; barriers to entry and expansion; countervailing power of buyers; and nature and effectiveness of economic regulation (if any). It should be noted that although the Competition Act does not govern the exercise by the MCMC of its powers under the CMA, the MCMC considers that the definition of a market under the Competition Act provides guidance in defining communications markets for the purposes of the CMA.

The effect of access regulation under the access list will be considered by the MCMC in order to determine whether a licensee is being sufficiently constrained in a communications market. The existence of access regulation will not prevent a licensee from being in a dominant position if it does not provide an effective constraint on the ability of a licensee to act independently in a market. Access regulation may only constrain the activities of licensees in relation to particular products supplied in a market rather than more generally in the market.

If the MCMC considers that a provider is in a dominant position, it may direct the provider to cease conduct that substantially lessens competition in the communications market.

Malta Small Flag Malta

No- the interconnection rules apply universally and are based on a cost-accounting system at a reasonable rate of return on investment, which “rate serves to promote efficiency and sustainable competition and maximise consumer benefits.”

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

See above.

Germany Small Flag Germany

See above.

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

When it comes to interconnection, the applicable laws and regulations do not differentiate between operators with market power and operators without market power. The provisions regarding interconnection apply to any operator regardless whether or not it holds market power.

Pakistan Small Flag Pakistan

An operator shall be presumed to have significant market power when it has a share of more than twenty-five per cent of a particular telecommunication market. The relevant market for these purposes shall be based on sectoral revenues. PTA may, notwithstanding the foregoing, determine that an operator with a market share of less than twenty-five per cent of the relevant market has significant market power. It may also determine that an operator with a market share of more than twenty-five per cent of the relevant market does not have significant market power. In each case, PTA shall take into account the operator's ability to influence market conditions, its turnover relative to the size of the relevant market, its control of the means of access to customers, its access to financial resources and its experience in providing telecommunication services and products in the relevant market.

Any operator (licensee of PTA), who has been determined by PTA as an operator having significant market power (“SMP”) is obliged to prepare and submit its Reference Interconnect Offer (“ROI”) to PTA within one month of its determination as an SMP operator by PTA. The SMP operator shall make the ROI publicly available within seven (7) days after approval by PTA.

After the receipt of an interconnection request, both parties shall mutually negotiate interconnection terms and conditions, or adopt the RIO, as the case may be; the negotiations shall be completed as soon as possible but not later than 90 days from the date of the interconnection request.

Subject to the Interconnection Disputes Resolution Regulations 2004, an operator may file a claim with PTA, if such operator is unable to reach an agreement with the other operator:

a) on an interconnection arrangement; or

b) on a dispute arising out of a subsisting interconnection agreement, and such failure to agree continues for 60 days after the request for the interconnection arrangement was made or the dispute was raised; provided that, PTA may entertain a claim before the end of 60 days.

Romania Small Flag Romania

One of the tasks of ANCOM is to promote competition on the market. To achieve this, the authority identifies the relevant market and the undertakings with significant market power. In the sector of electronic communications, an undertaking is considered to have significant market power if, either individually or jointly with others, it enjoys a position equivalent to dominance, that is to say a position of economic strength affording it the power to behave to an appreciable extent independently of competitors, customers and ultimately consumers.

After conducting the market analysis and to the extent that it is necessary to promote competition on that market, ANCOM may impose, maintain, amend or withdraw, as the case may be, certain obligations on undertakings with significant market power. According to GEO 111/2011 and in line with the EU provisions (Access Directive) the authority may, in addition to the above impose, maintain, amend or withdraw the following in order to facilitate access to and interconnection of electronic communications networks and associated facilities:

  • obligations of transparency in relation to interconnection and/or access, requiring operators to make public specified information, such as accounting information, technical specifications, network characteristics, terms and conditions for supply and use, including any conditions that limit the access or use of services and applications;
  • obligations of non-discrimination in relation to interconnection and/or access that ensure in particular, that the operator applies equivalent conditions in equivalent circumstances to other undertakings providing equivalent services, and provides services and information to others under the same conditions and of the same quality as it provides for its own services, or those of it subsidiaries or partners;
  • obligations of accounting separation in relation to specific activities related to interconnection and/or access;
  • obligations of access to, and use of specific network facilities in situations where ANCOM considers that denial of access or unreasonable terms and conditions having a similar effect would hinder the emergence of a sustainable competitive market at the retail level, or would not be in the end-user's interest;
  • obligations of price control and cost accounting obligations; and
  • obligations of functional separations; this obligation may be imposed when the authority considers that the above listed obligations have failed to achieve effective competition and that there are important and persisting competition problems and/or market failures identified in relation to the wholesale provision of certain access product markets; this obligation requires vertically integrated undertakings to place activities related to the wholesale provision of relevant access products in an independently operating business entity.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

A basic telecommunications business operator who possesses equipment and facilities that are essential for other telecommunications business operators to provide telecommunications services must enter into an interconnection agreement with a telecommunications business operator who makes a request for interconnection. Basic telecommunications business operators who are subject to such obligation include those who possess essential equipment and facilities installed at service entrances and whose annual revenue from 2 years ago generated from its basic telecommunications business is at least KRW 1 trillion.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Yes. Article 14 of the Spanish Telecommunications Act states that the CNMC may impose on operators with significant market power certain specific obligations, which include amongst others:

  • Transparency obligations; according to which operators may be required to publish information relating to accountability, technical specifications, network characteristics, supply conditions, and/or the publication of a reference offer etc.;
  • Non-discrimination obligations; according to which operators may be required to apply equivalent conditions in similar circumstances to other operators that provide equivalent services and provide third parties with services and information of the same quality as those provided for their own services or those of their subsidiaries or associated and in the same condition;
  • Other obligations include the separation of accounts, access to specific elements or resources from the network as well as other related services as identity, location and presence services, pricing control, etc.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

According to chapter 4, section 3 of the act, there is an obligation for operators who control the end users´ access to interconnect, or take measures that enables the end users to connect with each other. As for operators with significant market power, they can be obliged to e.g. adopt non-discriminating terms and fulfil certain demands relating to the access and use of the net in question.

Taiwan Small Flag Taiwan

A "dominant market player ("DMP")" will bear more compliance obligations with regard to interconnection. According to the TMA, the NCC may order a DMP to be fair and reasonable and shall not discriminate against any other telecommunications operator when handling matters concerning interconnection and may even order a certain DMP to provide interconnection to other telecommunications operators. A DMP shall reach interconnection agreement with another telecommunications operator within three months following the interconnection request has been raised. If no agreement will be reached, either party may apply with the NCC for a determination and a DMP shall follow the determination of the NCC.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Yes. As per the Regulation on Access and Interconnection, operators having an efficient market power in the relevant market may be imposed to interconnection obligations by ICTA.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

These access-related conditions may include obligations to share the use of electronic communications apparatus (and apportioning and contributing towards the costs of this sharing) where there are no viable alternative arrangements that may be made. Hence, these are more likely to be applied on electronic communication networks providers with significant market power.

Moreover, general European competition law applies in respect of anti-competitive agreements and the abuse of dominant positions.

United States Small Flag United States

While LECs are required to provide interconnection on fair terms, reasonable rates and in a non-discriminatory manner, there is no separate set of rules for LECs with market power.

Australia Small Flag Australia

See the answer to the question above.

Updated: August 27, 2019