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Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Achievements and challenges In light of Telecommunications Law 431/2002 Mahassen Ajam Board Member, Head of Information.

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Presentation on theme: "Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Achievements and challenges In light of Telecommunications Law 431/2002 Mahassen Ajam Board Member, Head of Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Achievements and challenges In light of Telecommunications Law 431/2002 Mahassen Ajam Board Member, Head of Information and Consumer Affairs Unit 12/15/2011 1

2 Decision mechanisms and national strategic objectives The core of Telecommunications Law 431/2002 TRA role, mission and prerogatives TRA challenges Questions and answers Table of contents 2

3 3 Telecom sector structure & role separation principle Before Law After Law 431 MoT Policymaker Sets the general guidelines for telecom policy Recommends to CoM the award of some individual licenses (mobile/fixed, int’l voice, UMTS) Reviews and proposes to CoM Pricing of Radio Frequency TRA annual budget Incumbent Provides telecom services to the public Installs, owns and manages telecom networks and facilities Abides by the TRA regulations, decisions and licenses TRA Regulator Develops/implements regulations Awards telecom licenses Ensures competition and prevents anti-competitive behavior Manages on behalf of GoL radio frequencies RegulatorPolicymaker MoT Service Provider Completed Partially completedNot completed yet

4 Decision-making mechanism National strategic objectives Policy and general rules Role allocation and definition of means Council of Ministers Minister of Telecommunications Telecommunications Market Proposal, discussion and approva l 4 TRA Till when and where to? How? Applicable regulatory strategies SPsinvestorsconsumers

5 Impact on the National Economy Attract investments Increasing growth & competitiveness Create job opportunities Impact on Consumers Increased choices Affordable prices Improved Quality of Service Promote economic integration Impact on the Sector Developing the capacity of telecommunication networks Increasing network coverage and penetration rates Increasing network coverage and penetration rates Providing the latest technologies and services Liberalizing the telecommunications Sector National Strategic Objectives 5 Any dispute related to the strategic goals requires the amendment of the Law that defined the market liberalization process through the introduction of fair competition

6 Rules and means of liberalizing the telecommunications sector Private Sector (Existing and new SPs) Technical equipment & specialized teams Prosecution Periodic Reports Coverage Services/Techniques Scare Resources Duration Spectrum Numbering Infrastructure Resource Pricing Issuing Decrees Forwarding TRA regulations to State Council % Revenue sharing rates IPO %required foreign investments rates TRA’s Scope of Work Minister’s Scope of Work Coordination and cooperation Means of reforming the sector & introducing competition Restructuring of MoT and LT Legal Framework Privatization Tax Policy Protecting Consumers Managing resources Performance monitoring Licensing 6

7 The foundation of the TRA is a step forward towards the administrative reform The TRA is the first regulatory body created among the different sectors to organize and monitor the performance of the telecom sector It is also the first public administration established in the twenty-first century, aiming at becoming a model institution for the upcoming authorities based on its worki methods, its effectiveness and transparency and by the values it has adopted and applied since its inception The TRA Board has been appointed based on standards of competence and experience in the telecommunications sector 7

8 What is the TRA? The TRA is an independent public institution established further to the enactment of Telecom Law 431/2002 in 2007 It is mandated to liberalize, regulate and develop the Lebanese telecommunications market The TRA effectively started operations further to the nomination of its board members in February 2007 by the Council of Ministers 8

9 The TRA mission The TRA mission is to establish a regulatory environment that enables a competitive telecommunications market to deliver state-of-the-art services at affordable prices to the broadest spectrum of the Lebanese population. 9

10 The TRA values As the TRA strives to meet its mission, it consistently adheres to its key values of independence; transparency, accountability and fairness. The entire organization integrates these values into every step of the work. 10

11 The TRA prerogatives The TRA’s duties are set out in full in Law 431/2002. These include to: Prepare Draft Decrees and Regulations Promote Competition Issue Licenses Manage the Spectrum Surveillance and prosecution Manage the numbering system Approval of Telecommunication Equipment Monitoring Quality of Service Protect Consumer Rights 11

12 Subject to public consultations Submitted to State Council Published in the Official Gazette, and at least 2 other daily newspapers and on TRA website Should be justified Challenged before the State Council Published in the Official Gazette, and at least in 2 other daily newspapers and on the TRA website Administrative & financial regulations, Decree TRA Financial procedure TRA employee organization Subject to MOT and MOF approval, in case of disagreement will refer to the COM Subject to post supervision by the audit court Publishing the financial report Minister of Telecom Contains the audited financial report Should be published on the TRA website Minister of Finance Independence of the TRA and control mechanisms COMTRA State Council Internal Regulations Market Regulations DecisionsBudget Org chart and pay scale 12 Annual Report

13 Article 19: Licenses shall be awarded to providers of the following Public Telecommunications Services by decree of Council of Ministers, further to an international public auction, and according to specifications and conditions prepared by the TRA: Basic Telephony Services (fixed) Mobile Telephone Services International Phone Services New Licenses categories for the provision of Public Telecommunications Services, including UMTS, at the national or international levels The privatization and taxing scheme for the mobile, international gateway and broadband sectors requires a Council of Ministers decision (and not the TRA). This decision is based on the Government of Lebanon’s telecom vision detailed in the Official Statement and in the general policy for the sector, which is defined by the Minister of Telecommunications and presented to the CoM based on the principles of promoting competition as defined by Law 431. Independence of the TRA and control mechanisms

14 Coordination & cooperation between the TRA and other government entities  Partial or full privatization or a public asset TRA Ministry of Defense Ministry of Public Works and Transport Ministry of Telecommu nications Ministry of Information Ministry of Economy and Trade Ministry of Justice Municipalities  TRA Advice on all Telecom Matters  Frequency Fees  TRA Budget  Complete transfer of regulatory functions  TRA Budget  Customs fees for import of telecom equipment + MoU for customs coordination  Inspection Powers  Consumer Protection  MoU to receive & follow up consumers complaints  Frequency Assignment  Rights of Way  Frequency Assignment for security reasons  Import authorization  MoU  Frequency Assignment  Broadcasting  Rights of Way  Frequency Assignment  Import authorization  Security escort HCP State of Council Ministry of Finance & Customs Ministry of Interior  Regulations  TRA decisions Work in Progress 14

15 What has been achieved to date? Broadband related regulations  Issuing interim licenses for current Service Providers  Spectrum Management and Licensing Draft Regulations  Lebanese National Frequency Allocation Table Draft  Rights of Way Decree  Draft Decree on Spectrum Right To Use Fees Other crucial regulations  Service Providers Licensing Draft Regulation  Consumer Affairs Draft Regulation  Quality of Service and KPI Regulation  Interconnection Regulation  Significant Market Power Regulation  Type Approval Regulation  RFP for Mobile Auction  Numbering Draft Regulation & National Numbering Draft Plan  Human EMF exposure Limit Draft Regulation  Code of Practice for Value Added Services Draft 2- Establishing Regulatory framework  Transferring of some prerogatives from the MoT to the TRA  Preparing and issuing internal regulations  Contracting mechanism, organization structure and salaries  Signing MoU’s with public institutions  Launching of public consultation process  Awareness campaigns  Hard & soft copy publications (including annual and financial reports)  Securing financial resources 1- Building the institution 15

16 The broadband agenda will benefit from clarity on a number of policy issues Liban Telecom exclusivity The exclusivity period of Liban Telecom over basic telephony and international voice services should be defined but should not exceed a 5-year period (incl. “managed” VOIP) Mobility or No Mobility Mobility –or the ability to provide mobile services- requires a COM decision to be included in the Broadband licenses Rights of Way (including access to the ducts) Ensuring RoW and access to the ducts will incentivize new entrants by reducing significantly the sunk costs and eliminate needless duplication of infrastructure Building Code TRA has prepared a draft decree to amend the current building code to enable new buildings to be ready for Fiber access (decree to be presented to the Minister of Public Work and Transportation) Spectrum Fees & Administrative Charges TRA has prepared a draft decree for setting up the spectrum Right to Use (RTU) fees based on Administrative Incentive pricing and the Spectrum Administrative Charges (SAC) based on cost accounting Revenue Sharing To be applied to all licensed Service Providers operating in the same markets and holding licenses with similar terms and conditions (incl. LT) - Revenue sharing should be offset against RTU fees 16

17 Some of the challenges faced by the TRA The inability to ensure the independence of the Authority’s regulatory decisions The absence of a clear public telecommunications policy from the Lebanese government The inability to fully apply Law 431 The inability to ensure the TRA’s financial independence Some of the draft regulations issued by the TRA are not being forwarded to the State of Council The TRA prerogatives are permanently challenged before the State Council and the Authority’s decisions are not being implemented The TRA is under financial pressure The TRA is currently unable to finance itself because some of the crucial regulations and decrees have not been issued in the OG yet Liban Telecom has not been created yet The process of prerogatives transfer has not been completed yet The absence of a mid - long term plan issued by the Council of Ministers with a national consensus 17

18 Illegal Service Providers High Impact GoL to clarify its policy towards illegal operators Universal Services GoL to clarify the policy on universal service Digital Switchover Moderate Impact GoL to support the migration from analog to digital TV by 2015 Cyber – Security GoL to adopt strategy to ensure security of national networks Social Policy` GoL to promote the access by people with special needs to broadband services Liban Telecom Establish the company and grant a license that will allow the provision of fixed, mobile and broadband services Decrees Issue the necessary decrees to guarantee the success of broadband services and increase penetration rates Raising LT value Establishing solid ground and work conditions among operators Increase competition in the mobile and broadband markets The vision for the sector’s strategy in the GoL official statement, once clarified through the implementation of major decisions, will allow a better development for telecommunications and the TRA to reach its objectives ICT National Strategy Lebanon's role in the export of the content at the regional level Decisions required at the general policy level 18

19 TRA  Complete transfer of regulatory functions  Ensuring independent funding  Nominating the 5 th board member TRA  Complete transfer of regulatory functions  Ensuring independent funding  Nominating the 5 th board member  Wider choices  Better quality  Low prices Stable regulatory framework that ensures fair competition and equal opportunities  Increase of national treasury resources by virtue of market size growth  Economic boost induced by the creation of jobs and opportunities Clear regulatory framework that creates investment opportunities Service Providers Investors Consumers GoL Conclusion 19

20 The implementation of Telecom Law 431/2002 whilst ensuring the administrative and financial independence of an empowered authority will allow an effective and constructive interaction between all stakeholders; The effective implementation of Law 431 whilst ensuring the financial and administrative independence of the TRA are the conditions for the development of the telecommunications sector in Lebanon allowing the required qualitative leap Conclusion 20


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