Following the deregulation of the retail fixed calls markets in 2013, the EETT decided to also deregulate the market of fixed retail access to publicly available telephony networks in December 2016. Currently, the only retail market that is still subject to ex-ante regulation is the market for retail leased lines with capacity up to 2Mbps. The incumbent (OTE) has been found to have significant market power (SMP) in this market.
The incumbent OTE has also been designated an SMP operator in the following wholesale markets: fixed origination, termination to individual fixed networks, local loop unbundling (LLU), wholesale broadband access and terminating segments of leased lines.
All fixed network operators have been designated as having SMP in the markets for termination to individual fixed networks and all (three) mobile network operators have been designated as having SMP in the markets for termination to individual mobile networks.
The ex-ante regulatory obligations for transparency, price controls, cost accounting separation, access to and use of specific network facilities and non-discrimination have been imposed on SMP operators in the above markets (with a few exceptions in specific markets).
The EETT’s most recent decisions on (deregulation of) the retail and (regulation of) wholesale access markets were issued on December 2016.
Additional issues regarding telecoms regulation (fixed infrastructure)
In practice there are no cable networks in Greece.
Access to the local loop or LLU is regulated. OTE is designated as an SMP operator and specific obligations are imposed upon OTE, namely access to the local loops and associated facilities (eg, collocation), transparency, non-discrimination, price control, cost accounting obligation and accounting separation.
The market analysis of the local access market, which designated OTE as an SMP operator, imposed an obligation to provide access for the deployment of NGA Networks based on VDSL Vectoring infrastructure and services by other operators (or based on other NGA technology) through a process managed by the EETT for the assignment of local sites to operators.
The interconnection market is regulated. Concerning the fixed market, OTE is designated as having an SMP position and specific obligations are imposed upon OTE. In cases of interconnection disputes, the EETT can intervene through the standard dispute resolution procedure, provided for by the Law on Electronic Communications. Prices of wholesale interconnection services that are regulated are defined on the basis of cost-orientation.
In Q2 2018, the EETT performed a public consultation on the third round of regulation of leased lines in the Greek Territory (market 4 of Commission Recommendation 2014/710/EU ‘Wholesale high-quality access provided at a fixed location’). A decision is to be notified to EC shortly. According to the draft measure that was published for the public consultation, the currently regulated retail leased lines market with capacity up to 2Mbps is proposed to be deregulated.
Additional issues regarding telecoms regulation (mobile)
With the exception of free spectrum bands, an individual right to use frequencies is required for all wireless services and is granted by the competent authorities upon a relevant request. Only if the spectrum available is not enough to cater for existing demand from existing or new competitors will a limitation on the number of individual licences be effected. This will be the result of a public consultation that the EETT must prepare following a ministerial decision to that effect. If, as a result of that consultation, the number of individual rights has to be limited, the EETT must decide how this limited number of individual rights will be granted. Any kind of tender can be held in accordance with the principles of transparency, etc, that are set by Greek law in accordance with EU directives.
The aforementioned rules are also applicable in the assignment of unused radio spectrum. No change of permitted use is allowed.
The law allows for spectrum trading under specific conditions. To transfer, lease or make any change in the control of the rights holder, an application must be filed to the EETT, which considers the relevant application and decides based on specific criteria defined by law.
A general obligation to provide access to MVNO operators is imposed on mobile network operators (MNOs) through a relevant provision included in the rights of use of frequencies. However, this obligation does not specify the pricing or non-pricing terms of access provision. In Q4 of 2018, the EETT issued a decision, following a dispute resolution petition by fixed operator Forthnet requesting MVNO access by mobile operators Vodafone and Cosmote, ruling on both the obligation but also the pricing terms thereof.
Call termination on a mobile network is regulated, as all MNOs have been found to hold an SMP position in the market for termination of calls to their mobile network. Mobile termination rates are regulated on the basis of the cost-orientation principle and a series of additional obligations (access, transparency, non-discrimination, accounting separation) have been imposed on MNOs with an SMP position.
The provisions of the EU Roaming Regulation have been fully implemented as of 15 June 2017.
With regard to next-generation mobile services, all individual licences issued in 2003 with regard to 3G mobile networks provided for specific coverage obligations for the operators. Such obligations continued to exist after the individual licences under the previous regime were adjusted to the current regime of individual rights of use of spectrum. These were relaxed in practice because of the slow development of technology and demand, but such conditions have now been fully covered. Generally, the law allows the EETT to impose such obligations and until now the EETT has done so, but as a rule these obligations are rather limited and the EETT is not strict in their implementation, bearing in mind the development of the market. The most important development in this field has been the award of rights of use of frequencies in the 800MHz to 2,600MHz band to MNOs for the provision of electronic communications services through an auction in October 2014. The 800MHz frequencies were previously used for analogue broadcasting.
Additional issues regarding internet services (including voice over the internet)
With the exception of radio and TV legislation, online gambling legislation, the provisions of the Greek presidential decree implementing e-commerce and the data protection legislation, which includes specific provisions on internet services, there is no specific national regulation. The general provisions of law and relevant EU framework, recommendations, opinions and self-regulation instruments also affect the provision of internet services.
There are no specific limits on an internet service provider’s freedom to control or prioritise the type or source of data that it delivers. The EU legislation is fully implemented.
Addititonal issues regarding access and/or securing or enforcing rights to public and private land to install telecommunications infrastructure
Law 4463/2017 implemented EU cost reduction Directive 2014/61/EU. Until the operation of the Information System, which will support the one-stop procedure for the granting of the rights of way, the procedure of article 11 of Annex X of Law 4070/2012, as amended by Law 4463/2017, applies.
In July 2018 the EETT conducted a public consultation on the modification of EETT regulation (528/075/2009) for the determination of fees for rights of way, rights of use of rights of ways and the amount of guarantees of good performance of rights of ways operations for Greece with the aim of simplifying the relevant procedures. Additionally, the EETT issued in August 2018 its new Regulation on Collocation and common use of facilities.
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