EU telecom markets are constantly at risk of re-fragmentation, a report has concluded three months prior to the European Commission’s planned presentation of a draft revised Regulatory Framework that will decide which markets can be let off the hook.
A Commission report published on 12 July 2007 found that, in most of the relevant markets and throughout the EU, there is no effective competition that would allow regulation of the market to cease.
Even in the telephony retail sector, only around a fifth of member states’ markets have been found fit to be released from Commission supervision. A review, expected in October, will determine whether ex-ante regulation is still needed.
The only market in which there is effective competition in all member states that regulate it and no further ex-ante regulation is required is the wholesale national market for international roaming on public mobile networks (market 17). That market has been regulated in only 14 of 27 member states.
For access and call origination on public mobile telephone networks (market 15), problems remain in only four new member states and in Ireland, which is generally running late on transposing the EU regulatory framework.
The countries doing best are the Nordics, the Netherlands and Austria, all of which have established at least partially effective competition on around a third of the relevant markets.