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PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS

In 2020, the Authority embarked on a public consultation in order to review any possible changes which may affect the universal service obligations and designated provider/s. Public Consultation C05/20 was published on 10th July 2020 and this was followed by Decision C07/20 on 14th September 2020 which designated Gibtelecom as Universal Service Provider for one year ending on 30th September 2021.

Consequently, it is time for the Authority to reassess the current universal service designation and undertake a new public consultation.

In line with the new communications regulatory framework, the Authority wishes to assess, update and exercise its powers with regards to the imposition and modification of conditions attached to a general authorisation. Furthermore, the Authority will also be proposing conditions which may be attached to rights of use for numbering resources. The Authority will, therefore, propose changes to the conditions currently in place in Notice C08/17.

The GRA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the questions presented in this public consultation. Written comments will be accepted no later than 3pm on Friday 23rd July 2021.

The sharing of mobile network infrastructure is an established feature of many European mobile markets. Mobile infrastructure sharing describes the process by which Authorised Providers share infrastructure to deliver mobile services to customers. Upon reviewing the comments provided by the respondents after the first round of consultation, it was decided that the General Condition proposed would benefit from an element of simplicity and clarity and so, the purpose for carrying out a second round is so that respondents may consider their answers in light of a revised General Condition presented in this document.

Additionally, this second consultation is not designed to replace the C02/20 consultation, but instead should be read in conjunction and be viewed as an extension of it.

The GRA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the questions presented in this public consultation.

The sharing of mobile network infrastructure is an established feature of many European mobile markets. Mobile infrastructure sharing describes the process by which Authorised Providers share infrastructure to deliver mobile services to customers. In order to ensure full transparency for all market players, the GRA has decided to publish this document to clarify the main concepts associated with mobile infrastructure sharing, its advantages and disadvantages and consult with industry to find out whether the GRA can assist Authorised Providers achieve their objectives.

This document, therefore, proposes the imposition of General Conditions on Authorised Providers to share mobile network infrastructure.

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (“GRA”) has issued a public consultation on proposals to licence the provision of Mobile/Fixed Communications Networks (“MFCN”) in Gibraltar, including 5G Mobile Communications Services. 

The focus of this consultation is the process for licensing future MFCN services in Gibraltar and, in this context, to set out the GRA’s plans for the spectrum bands which should be allocated for the development of these services, including 5G. In this regard, the GRA has considered current spectrum assignments and considered how available spectrum can be offered effectively to existing and new operators.

A General Authorisation is defined as the legal framework established under and pursuant to the Communications Act 2006 ensuring rights for the provision of electronic communications networks or electronic communications services or both and laying down the conditions and, where applicable, the specific obligations for such provision.

According to the Authority’s Register of Authorised persons, the following operators hold a General Authorisation to provide electronic communications networks and services:

  • Gibfibrespeed
  • U-mee
  • Sapphire Networks
  • Gibtelecom.

Regulation 17 of the Communications (Authorisation and Licensing) Regulations 2006 also provides that a General Condition is a condition listed in Part A of the Schedule to the Regulations and that every communications provider holding a General Authorisation shall comply with the conditions applicable to them.

The Authority considers it appropriate to review and update the General Conditions and is therefore proposing amendments as contained in this public consultation.

The Authority has in this document set out how, on a preliminary basis, it has defined markets for wholesale call termination on individual mobile networks as susceptible to ex ante regulation, and has assessed those markets to see if there was evidence of market power.

The Authority’s preliminary view is that Gibtelecom and Eazitelecom have SMP in the markets for wholesale call termination on their individual mobile networks.

The Authority has also in this document set out how, on a preliminary basis, it has defined markets for wholesale SMS termination on individual mobile networks as not susceptible to ex ante regulation. The SMS termination market did not fulfil the 3 criteria test and following a market definition exercise, this market is considered to be competitive especially when considering all issues on a forward looking basis.

The Authority therefore proposes to withdraw all SMP obligations in that market previously imposed on Gibtelecom and Eazitelecom.

The GRA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the questions posed in this market review (full list of questions is set out in Annex A) and will accept written comments up until 3pm on 16th July 2015.

The GRA has in this document set out how, on a preliminary basis, it has defined the market for wholesale call origination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location as not susceptible to ex ante regulation. The wholesale call origination market did not fulfil the 3 criteria test and following a market definition exercise, this market is considered to be competitive especially when considering all issues on a forward looking basis.

The GRA therefore proposes to withdraw all SMP obligations in that market previously imposed on Gibtelecom.

The GRA has also set out in this document how, on a preliminary basis, it has defined the market for wholesale call termination on individual public networks provided at a fixed location as susceptible to ex ante regulation and has assessed the market to see if there was evidence of market power.

The analyses took into consideration a range of factors in the assessment of market power including high market shares; barriers to entry; economies of scale; vertical integration, potential competition and countervailing buyer power.

The GRA’s preliminary view is that Gibtelecom has SMP in the market for and wholesale call termination on the individual public telephone networks provided at a fixed location.

Gibtelecom has 100% market share in this market. The GRA has assessed prospective competition and has assessed factors which may qualify Gibtelecom’s ability to price independently of any competitors. The preliminary conclusion is that Gibtelecom will remain dominant in this market for the lifetime of this review.

The GRA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the questions posed in this market review (full list of questions is set out in Annex A) and will accept written comments up until 3pm on 10th July 2015.

The electronic communications regulatory framework requires the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (the Authority) to define relevant markets appropriate to national circumstances and to analyse these markets to ensure that regulation remains appropriate in the light of changing market conditions, otherwise known as market reviews.

On 30th September 2010, the Authority issued a public consultation on accounting separation and cost accounting systems with reference to compliance under SMP obligations (Public Consultation No. 06/10).  Having considered the views of all respondents to the Public Consultation, the Authority set out in Document No. 01/11 on 22nd February 2011 its conclusions regarding the compliance with accounting separation and cost accounting obligations by operators. The Authority later reissued Document No. 01/11 on 30th November 2011.

This consultation proposes incremental changes to Decision No. 01/11 (Reissued). The resulting Response to Consultation and Decision will consolidate the decisions currently standing together with the new results into one document. 

The communications regulatory framework requires the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA or the Authority) to define relevant markets susceptible to ex-ante regulation, appropriate to national circumstances in accordance with the market definition procedure outlined in the Framework Directive. In addition, the Authority is required to conduct an analysis of the relevant markets to decide whether or not they are effectively competitive and, having identified competition problems, propose appropriate regulatory measures.

In carrying out market definition and market analysis, the Authority must take the utmost account of the Relevant Markets Recommendation (the Recommendation) and the European Commission's Guidelines (the Guidelines) on Market Analysis and Significant Market Power.

According to the Guidelines, the purpose of imposing ex-ante obligations on undertakings designated as having significant market power (SMP) is to ensure that undertakings cannot use their market power to restrict or distort competition in the relevant market, or to lever market power into an adjacent market.

Where there is a finding of SMP, the Authority is obliged to impose obligations to remedy competition problems. SMP obligations are outlined in Regulation 14 of the Communication (Universal Service and Users' Rights) Regulations 2006.

In this document, the Authority sets out how it has defined retail fixed markets susceptible to ex-ante regulation and analysed those markets to see if there was evidence of market power. The analyses took into consideration a range of factors in the assessment of market power including high market shares; pricing behaviour; conduct which would indicate market power; countervailing buyer power; barriers to entry; potential competition and vertical integration.

This Public Consultation Procedure is established by the Minister for Communications pursuant to Section 13 and Section 49 of the Communications Act 2006 ("the Act") in relation to the procedure which is proposed to be adopted for the Application for a right to install facilities under Section 49 of the Act. The form of Application is annexed to the public consultation.

Section 49 of the Act requires a person authorised to provide a public electronic communications network who requires to install facilities on, over or under public or private land to apply to the Minister for a right to install such facilities. It also provides that the Minister shall establish procedures for the determination of such applications.

It is important to note that persons authorised to provide a public electronic communications network who are granted a right to install will still be subject to the necessary planning permits being obtained as well as the appropriate agreements with the relevant landlords.

The Authority invites all interested parties to make representations on the proposed procedure before 3pm Monday 18th February 2013.

Once the Public Consultation Procedure is concluded, Administrative Notice Number 1/2011 on the Right to install facilities will be revoked by the Minister.

Related Pages

1. Introduction

The following public consultation describes the compliance procedure proposed by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) with regard to SMP price control obligations applicable to those providers of lectronic communications services designated with significant market power (SMP) and facing such obligations. The current document focuses on retail price control obligations applying to Gibtelecom. However, the GRA believes that the procedures suggested in this document can serve as a template for the enforcement of other similar SMP obligations, particularly SMP price control obligations.

By using the SMP retail price cap obligations imposed on Gibtelecom as an example, the GRA proposes a compliance procedure framework which will provide guidance to all operators who now or in the future will be subject to any form of similar price controls. The public consultation, although more specific to Gibtelecom's retail price caps, is non-confidential. However, the consultation includes an additional annex (Annex B) which contains relevant confidential data applicable to Gibtelecom's case. As a requirement to protect commercial sensitivities Annex B is only available to Gibtelecom for comment. The GRA will report on the responses on Annex B without compromising commercial sensitivities.

In Decision Notice 03/09, "SMP Obligations in relevant Retail Fixed Markets - Application of Rebalancing and a Price Cap control on Gibtelecom"1, the GRA imposed three retail price caps on Gibtelecom which apply on an annual basis over the period from 1st May 2009 to 30th April 2012, period of three years. This document builds upon what was established in the Decision Notice and explains any amendments and additions to the compliance process where necessary. All changes have taken into account operator resources and where possible have adhered to the principle of proportionality. Therefore every effort has been made to minimise the requirement of information provision.

In this public consultation the GRA proposes the form in which SMP operators must submit price cap compliance information. The purpose of this consultation is to enhance transparency and increase legal certainty for market players.

The GRA welcomes comments from all interested parties on the questions posed in this consultation (a full list of questions is set out in Annex A) and will accept written comments up until 3pm on Wednesday 26th May 2010.

Under Regulation 15 of the Communications (Access) Regulations 2006, and in order to promote further openness and transparency, the GRA will make public the names of all respondents and make available for inspection responses to the consultation at its offices. This is subject to confidentiality. Respondents are asked to identify clearly material which is to be treated as confidential.

The GRA's Statement "Accounting separation, cost orientation, cost accounting methods and compliance under SMP obligations" Document No. 07/08 should also be read in conjunction with this consultation.

Related Pages