Our companies are committed to compliance with national and European regulations of the telecommunications market in Romania. Moreover, we are committed to work together with governmental agencies, enterprises and other stakeholders to ensure a regulatory framework that protects all stakeholders’ interests and at the same time contributes to the overall welfare of society.
We have translated this commitment across both fix and mobile operations within our internal policies and procedures.
The authorization regime for the provision of electronic communications networks and services
According to the general authorization regime adopted by the regulatory authority (ANCOM), any person intending to start the provision of public electronic communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services has the obligation to send ANCOM a notification on this intention. The person who submitted the notification is considered a provider of the networks/ services specified in the notification, gaining the corresponding rights and obligations.
For the purpose of ensuring the enforcement and observance of the law, ANCOM is conducting the monitoring and control activity in order to promote competition in the market and protect the users’ rights and interests. The control activity envisages the compliance with the obligations imposed by the legislation in force, the resolution of complaints, as well as the assessment of the quality of the provided networks and services.
On the other hand, the providers are obliged to inform ANCOM on a series of aspects such as general statistical data, contracts, access and interconnection, annual financial statements.
Regulatory action frame
In 2015, our companies concentrated on a number of regulatory and administrative actions on the following topics:
- Customers’ information about contractual conditions to ensure transparency on the market;
- Respecting the licences’ obligations regarding spectrum utilisation, numbering, technical resources allocation;
- Respecting the obligations regarding wholesale, interconnection, MVNOs, alternative services partners;
- Electromagnetic fields public perception mitigation, through ensuring transparency of ICNIRP and national regulations and World Health Organisation recommendations;
- Debating legislative proposals on the telecommunication market regarding charge control and other local authorities initiatives;
- On-going consultancy process regarding European and national legal framework implementation in the business activity.
Compliance with fair competition regulations
In 2015 there were registered 160 complains to ANCOM (National IT&C regulator) regarding our mobile operations and 176 regarding our fixed operations. All the complaints were answered in the legal term and no financial penalties have been issued.
During 2014 and 2015, Telekom Romania was not part of any incidents of non-compliance with national fair competition regulations.
Together with the main telecommunication operators in the Romanian market, our commercial competition policies have been assessed by Competition Council and the results are presented in decision no. 33 / 18.08.2015.
ROMANIA IN DIGITAL ERA
ANCOM’s data regarding the fixed telephony services show a downward trend both in the number of access lines (-6%, reaching 4.27 million) and, respectively, in the number of subscribers (-6% to 3.71 million), as well as in the volume of the voice traffic achieved. On 31 December 2015, the fixed telephony penetration rate at population level was 21.5%, whereas the penetration rate at household level was 46.5% per 100 households.
The voice traffic achieved on the fixed networks in the first half of 2015 amounted to 3.8 billion minutes, 16% lower than the previous year. Thus, the voice traffic to fixed networks dropped by 18% to 2.5 billion minutes, traffic to mobile public networks decreased by 14% to 1 billion minutes, whereas outgoing cross-border traffic diminished by 11%, to 286 million minutes.
By the end of 2015, 23.1 million people were actively using mobile telephony services, a 1% rise compared to 2014. It should be noted that the number of subscription based users continued to rise to 10.7 million (+8%), whereas the active prepaid cards number fell by 5% (to 12.5 million). The penetration rate of mobile telephony services per 100 inhabitants reached 116.4% by the end of 2015.
Although the number of mobile telephony users is constant, the total traffic achieved rose by 4% in 2015 compared to 2014, to almost 70 billion minutes. Significant rises were recorded in international traffic (+76% to 3.7 billion minutes) and traffic to other mobile telephony networks (+64% to 14.9 billion minutes), the latter case being determined by an increase in lucrative offers on the retail market which contain national minutes, as a result of ANCOM intervention on the wholesale market by regulating the maximum value of termination tariffs in mobile networks. Traffic to fixed networks rose by 3%, whereas on-net traffic decreased by 9%.
In 2015, over 20 billion SMS were sent, 3% more than in 2014, 85% of these being sent in their own network. Over half of the voice traffic and 40% of the SMS traffic is made by subscription based users. The average call duration on a mobile terminal in 2015 rose to 2 minutes 32 seconds, while the average monthly voice traffic by an active user was 4 hours 13 minutes, 7 minutes more than the monthly average in registered in 2014. Such active user sends an average of 74 SMS per month
Source: ANCOM 2015 Annual Report (access here)
As regards roaming services, voice traffic continues to register a significant increase by 63%, exceeding 1 billion minutes (of which 361 million minutes were outgoing calls and 690 million incoming calls), while traffic of outgoing roaming SMS rose by 5%, to 129 million SMS. Roaming data consumption also rose significantly, three times, from 202 thousand GB in 2014 to 606
thousand GB in 2015.
Internet access services
4G connections number increased by more than three times and a half in 2015, from less than 800,000 in 2014 to 2.7 million in 2015. By the end of 2015, in Romania there were 14.7 million mobile broadband connections, growing by 22% per year. Mobile broadband internet penetration rate per 100 inhabitants reached 74%, an increase by more than 13 p.p. compared to 2014. Of the 14.7 million mobile broadband connections, 9 million were subscription-based (40% increase over the last year) and 5.7 million were based on prepaid cards i.e. only 1% increase. Total traffic achieved by these connections doubled in 2015, from 46 thousands TB in 2014 to 99 thousand TB in 2015. Also, the average monthly traffic per connection rose from 0.26 GB to 0.48 GB.
By the end of 2015, the number of fixed broadband connections rose by more than 300,000, mainly ultra-high speed connections. More than half of the 4.3million fixed broadband connections allow transfer speeds of over 100 Mbps. The traffic achieved through these connections reached a total of 4.5 million TB, while the average monthly consumption per user reached 91 GB. Out of the fixed broadband connections, 52% enable speeds of at least 100Mbps -, propelling Romania among the European top performers regarding the share of high speed connections out of the total number of connections. Regarding end-user access infrastructure, at the end of 2015 we witness growth in the number of FTTH connections, which reached 428 thousand (+196%), and of radio, satellite, mobile networks connections which reached 144 thousand (+151%). At the same time, due to the natural trend in upgrading optical fibre networks and investments in new technologies, the xDSL and FTTx connections with end-user access by coaxial cable dropped by over 5% but they continue to have the biggest share out of the total number of broadband internet access connections – FTTx with UTP/FTP cable access 50% and xDSL 23%.