National Authority for Communication (ANC) decided to cut the interconnection tariffs for telecommunication operators as of 2009.

Therefore, the interconnection fees charged by Orange and Vodafone will decline to 5.03 eurocents from 6.44.

Vodafone representatives said the proposal of ANC on the interconnection tariffs cut is a discriminatory initiative for Vodafone Romania and Orange Romania operators, meant to discourage competition. Moreover, this measure contradicts the latter recommendations of European Commission and creates major unbalances in the domestic telecommunication market.

“We are surprised by the fact that ANC is not placing the end user on first position anymore, practically ignoring the interests of Vodafone and Orange’s 20 million clients, by favoring Cosmote, Telemobil and RDS&RCS operators. We consider that the statements of ANC’s chairman according to which the charges for mobile services will fall 25-30% in three years’ time due to a reduction of interconnection fees have no business groundwork and it is only a personal measure to improve his image”, representatives of Vodafone Romania said.

At this moment, representatives of Romania’s second largest mobile operator are questioning ANC’s statute, of and independent fair watchdog of the telecommunication market in Romania. They added that by this decision, Romanian policy makers in telecommunication industry are adopting a different position from European Commission.

“This decision proves once again that ANC uses a different measuring unit in case of regulations in the landline telephony market from the mobile telephony market. Therefore, all landline operators in Romania, regardless to their entry moment or market share, were imposed symmetrical interconnection fees, with a 9-months transition time framework to reach the tariffs set by ANC. By comparison, in case of mobile telephony market, Cosmote, Zapp and RDS&RCS are allowed to levy interconnection charges a lot higher than the ones imposed to Vodafone and Orange, of at least 9 years, between 2003 and 2011”, according to Vodafone Romania.

“In case ANC decides to keep the interconnection charges at a high level for some operators, the tariffs for users will not properly decline. By the unjustified introduction of asymmetries in the interconnection relations between operators, which contradict the recommendations of European Commission, ANC is prejudicing the consumers’ interests and protects commercial interests of a group of operators. We think ANC will understand that the proposed version is unacceptable and will modify it”, said Orange Romania.

The interconnection fees charged by Orange Romania will drop to 6.4 eurocents from 8.2.

Translated by Camelia Oancea

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