Romania’s entry into the 5G era will be intensively debated at the 2019 edition of the Communications Day conference. Alexandru Petrescu, MCSI Minister and Sorin Grindeanu, ANCOM President, the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, as well as representatives of the main players in the communications industry are invited. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bucharest.
Invitations will address issues related to preparations for 5G launch in Romania, with reference to the spectrum auction, requirements, rethinking spectrum usage, national roaming, 5G pilot projects, pre-commercial testing, 5G government services, network security , services, 5G applications and connected objects, incentives for the adoption of 5G technology. The talks will also point to Romania’s connection to high-speed networks (RoNET Project and its continuation) and infrastructure law. The discussions will be moderated by Mihai Constantin, TVR presenter and Executive Director of the Romanian Mobile Operators’ Association. Several ITC professional associations have already announced their participation by signing collaborative partnerships: the Association for Optical Fiber (AFOR), the Digital Alliance for Romania, the ANIS, the Romanian Association for Electronic Industry and Software (ARIES), the National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania. (ANISP), Interlan, the Romanian Association for Security Technique (ARTS), the Romanian Water Association (ARA), the National Association for the Information Systems Security (ANSSI), etc.
For more information and registration visit the event site:
Some telcos, members of ANISP, reported that Timisoara City Hall started yesterday (18 March 2019) actions to remove aerial cables / networks in certain areas of the city. Photo: https://www.opiniatimisoarei.ro
ANISP supports the development of underground networks in urban areas as they have clear advantages over aerial networks, both aesthetically and in terms of infrastructure security.
In order to move the existing aerial networks underground, telcos expect to find true partners in the local authorities – to cooperate for finding the best solutions in the general interest of both citizens and business environment, whose healthy development is also reflected in the welfare of citizens.
That is why we believe that local authorities, before proceeding to unilateral actions of dismantling aerial communications infrastructure, must make sure alternatives are offered – as in Oradea (a project developed by the City Hall and RCS-RDS) or Bucharest (a project developed by the City Hall and Netcity Telecom) etc.
In these examples, once an alternative subterranean infrastructure was available, telecommunications operators immediately started migrating to underground networks, so the local authorities obtained multiple benefits:
In places where the underground migration alternative exists (for example, subterranean ducts), local authorities must allow enough time for migration, since:
We ask the local authorities in Timisoara (and any other territorial administrative unit) to postpone aerial networks dismantling until alternative (underground) solutions are available to allow for a safe relocation of the fiber optics cables. Also, where elements of underground infrastructure exist, the involved parties need to make sure that such can be used (for example: are not clogged, are not not interrupted, they really reach the buildings to be connected and access is made in a non-discriminatory way and at fair prices).
ANISP makes the following statements related to the action opened by the Bucharest City Hall and the project company Netcity Telecom against ANCOM President’s Decision no. 40/2019, a decision correcting a number of abusive provisions met in the contracts for accessing the underground communications city infrastructure:
ANCOM Decision 40/2019 is a very important act for the communications sector development in Bucharest and nation-wide. Prior to adoption of ANCOM’s decision 40/2019, development of fiber optic communications networks was hampered by exaggerated access fees – by the Netcity Telecom project company.
Having a monopolistic position on the market for access to underground infrastructure and interpreting for its own benefit certain provisions of the concession contract executed with the General Council of Bucharest Municipality, the project company Netcity Telecom imposed tough technical and economic conditions on the business environment, obliged to comply under the threat of immediate dismantling of previously existing networks.
As a result, many of the alternative operators have disappeared and networks development has slowed down. Restricting competition in any sector leads to higher end-user rates and lower quality services.
Even some directions declared as priorities in governmental policies (Romania’s digitalization, 5G adoption, IoT, e-government, telemedicine etc) are endangered by unregulated monopolies / oligopolies. For example, in order to the fully take advantage of the 5G technology, it is necessary to construct high density networks having fiber optic backhaul. A prohibitive cost of installing optical fiber cancels the benefits of 5G.
In view of the above considerations, Law 159/2016, which transposes into Romania a European directive on the reduction of the cost of installing communications networks (Directive 2014/61/EU), was strictly necessary and its necessity has been manifested for many years. Law 159/2016 in turn imposed ANCOM, by art. 47. par. 9, to take regulatory action in such situations as the Netcity project.
The community of communications service providers grouped in ANISP considers ANCOM’s decision 40/2019 to be an important step in the right direction, in all relevant respects (for reasons of development of the strategic sector of electronic communications, for economic, social, legal reasons) . We also call on Bucharest City Hall not to look at this decision only from the narrow perspective of lowering (albeit not very significant, if any) its revenues from the corresponding royalty fee, to cancel the court action against ANCOM 40/2019 decision – and to support the development which will bring much more benefits to the inhabitants of Bucharest, both directly (through the services offered) and indirectly (through the taxes paid by the companies that will be able to develop once the monopolistic barriers are eliminated by ANCOM regulations).
We believe the chances of success in court for PMB’s action are very low, as there can be no solid reasoning for canceling ANCOM’s decision 40/2019; a waiver of this legal action means saving time and money.
Last but not least, ANISP expresses its support for the development of the Bucharest underground infrastructure (Netcity), but only under the provisions of Law 159/2016 and under the conditions legally imposed by the market arbitrator – ANCOM.
File references, according to the just.ro portal:
Today, February 12, 2019, the inaugural meeting of the Digital Romania Advisory Board was held at the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, under the chairmanship of Minister Alexandru Petrescu. Photo: MCSI
ANISP was represented by Mr. Cătălin Cuturela, president; and by Mr. Tiberiu Gîndu, Executive Director. Mr Cuturela pointed out the need to cancel the provisions of GEO 114/2018 on the 3% monitoring fee and up to 10% of the turnover fines for discrepancies in the network authorization regime. He also insisted on the need to change law 50/1991 by establishing a derogatory regime for installation of communication cables – to facilitate construction of gigabit networks and society digitalization.
The working groups defined within this Advisory Board are:
The National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania (ANISP) draws attention to the negative effects of GEO 114/29.Dec.2018 on the development of this strategic importance industry.
Article 77 of the Emergency Ordinance requires a surcharge of 3% of turnover, generating the following negative effects:
Benchmarking against other EU states, one notice the monitoring fee is elsewhere much lower or even non-existent. For example, the UK regulator (OFCOM) is requesting a 0.1160% turnover rate – only for companies with a turnover of over 5 million pounds (according to OFCOM website for 2018 and 2019). In Germany, the Bundesnetzagentur does not charge surveillance fees. These examples demonstrate once again that the new Romanian 3% monitoring tax is exaggerated by far.
Another series of negative effects is generated by art. 85 of Order 114/2018, since excessive penalties – up to 10% of turnover – are imposed on “suppliers who contract maintenance, replacement of networks … and the infrastructure elements necessary to support them … in the absence of a building permit”. In other words, an operator performing maintenance work (for example, an intervention to repair a communications cable) can be fined with 10% of the turnover because it is not waiting the issue of a construction permit – a process that may take several months. Meanwhile, service users are deeply disturbed (and for good reasons) by a service unavailability of several hours.
Having in mind all these effects, ANISP requested the Ombudsman to submit to the Constitutional Court’s attention the unconstitutionality of art. 77 point 4 of GEO 114/2018. At the same time, ANISP sent a letter to the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Communication, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), requesting Commission’s support, based on the above arguments.
There was a survey of the industry’s observations and the latest arguments were heard before the decision itself will be published (first part of January 2019).
The main tariffs will become:
a) 73.16 euro / km / month for the main tube rental service;
b) 0.224 euro / meter / month for connection tube (”racord”);
c) 0.277 euro / meter / month for the FTTB branch service;
d) EUR 11.43 / hour for the attendant service (business hours);
e) 17.15 euro / hour for the attendant service (outside business hours);
f) 526 euro / course / participant for the installer certification service.
As a significant change from the original project, it is noted that the connection tubes (”racorduri”) are to be billed proportionally with their effective length. Thus, for an average length of 28 meters (announced by some ANISP members), the monthly tariff for a connection tube shall be EUR 6.27 (instead of EUR 20 currently).
The ANISP community considers this project an important step forward in normalizing the access to infrastructure on the territory of Bucharest.
On December 4, 2018 ALEF Distribution, provider of equipment, solutions and training, specialized in Cisco, NetApp, Meraki, active and leader in several Eastern European markets in the field of distribution, data infrastructures, IT security & voice communications became a valued ANISP member.
ANCOM has published today for public consultation “The project for the calculation model on the cost of access services offered to the providers of public electronic communications networks for access to the physical infrastructure realized within the framework of the Bucharest Metropolitan Fiber Optic Network, Netcity“.
According to documents issued by the Authority, tariffs for NetCity services should become:
– 75.97 euro / km / month for the Tubecity Transport service (from 85 to 120 euro / km / month at present);
– 3.02 euro / pcs. for the Tubecity Connection type A service with a maximum length of 20 meters (from EUR 10 / month at present);
– 10.87 euro / pcs. for the Tubecity Connection type B and especially with a length of more than 20 meters (between 20 and 50 euro / piece currently);
– 8.03 euros for the FTTB Connection rental service (between 10 and 15 euros today).
The majority of telecommunications and Internet service providers grouped in ANISP believe that adopting such regulation is an important step in the right direction, but there is room for optimization, as well.
This regulation has been expected by suppliers since NetCity began (about 10 years ago); a first attempt by ANCOM materialized in the Approval no. DER / 928 / 30.05.2013 (issued according Law 154/2012) was ignored by the addressees of the notice (Bucharest City Hall and NetCity Telecom respectively) – in their opinion the Approval was “indicative”.
The project submitted to the consultation is now following the provisions of art. 47 par. (9) of the Law no. 159/2016 which obliges ANCOM to issue decisions in order to establish and impose on the persons implementing physical infrastructure projects with the participation of local authorities the technical and economic conditions in which the access of the providers of public electronic communications networks.
The high tariffs for access to NetCity so far have led to a reduction in competition in the communications services market (many alternative operators disappearing) and to the slowing down of the industry development in Bucharest.
Today, on September 12, 2018, the conference “Challenges of NETCITY: Stage II comes with over 2,000 km, but also with customers’ opposition” – in the organization of ANISP and InterLAN.
The event was attended by numerous providers of electronic communications services, members of the two associations, who argued that Netcity should be developed in a properly regulated framework.
At present, the development of the underground communications infrastructure project does not comply with the provisions of the ANCOM Approval issued 2013, obliging the telecom operators to pay arbitrarily imposed exaggerated tariffs – which seriously affects the competitive environment in Bucharest, the negative effects finally being felt by end users – subscribers of Internet / telephony / television services.
The operators community appeals to local authorities to allow further development of the project either with respect to the Approval of the 2013 Regulatory Authority (ANCOM) or to wait a new Decision – which is mandatory under Law 159/2016 – to be issued by ANCOM in the immediate time frame.
Operators also require ANCOM to issue and enforce as soon as possible the Decision provided for in Article 47, paragraph 9 – of the Physical Infrastructure Rules of the Electronic Communications Network Law (159/2016), taking into account all the arguments presented during public consultations.