Review of recent CCSA experiences in the Telecommunications Sector Kazan, Russia. Selelo Ramohlola & Tapera Muzata 31 March 3 April 2015

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1 Review of recent CCSA experiences in the Telecommunications Sector Kazan, Russia Selelo Ramohlola & Tapera Muzata 31 March 3 April 2015

2 Outline of Presentation Opening remarks Introduction & background to SA telecommunications sector CCSA s enforcement experiences (complaints & mergers) in sector Key regulatory issues & policy developments going forward

3 Introduction & Background to SA Telecoms Sector There are four (4) licenced MNOs in South Africa Vodacom and MTN licenced in 1993 A Multiparty Implementation Agreement limited Vodacom and MTN to only transmit calls to subscribers on each other s networks through the Telkom network networks built around fixed line incumbent At that time, Telkom was the de jure monopoly provider of Public SwitchedTelecommunication Services (PSTS) and facilities services In 1996, this was amended and both Vodacom and MTN were issued a formal telecommunication services licence in terms of the Telecommunications Act 3 rd MNO licenced & started operations in yrs after first MNOs 4 th MNO (owned by fixed line incumbent) entered the market in 2010 Late entry of 3 rd & 4 th MNOs meant competing with well established MNOs

4 Telecommunications sector currently experiencing consolidation global trends Significant growth in demand for data services and decline in voice prices Additional spectrum required for the rollout of LTE services key driver of mobile mergers Currently no additional spectrum available in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands (currently being used for mobile LTE services) Spectrum may become available in the 2600MHz and 800MHz but there are no clear timelines on when it will be available for use DTT & allocation for 2600MHz (process about to be started by regulator) The CC is currently assessing the following mergers: Vodacom (mobile) and Neotel (fixed) MTN (mobile) and Telkom (fixed/mobile) Telkom (fixed) and BCX (VANS/ITS) Currently investigation of abuse complaint in mobile In recent past, two abuse complaints finalized against fixed line incumbent Penalties and remedies

5 Complaints Abuse of Dominance Complaints 3 key abuse cases in the telecommunications sector o 2 against incumbent fixed line operator relating to access to leased lines o CCSA currently investigating abuse complaint in the mobile market (Cell C vs MTN and Vodacom) Approach o Discussion of fixed line complaints first then ongoing mobile complaint o Limited detail provided on current cases ongoing investigation & confidentiality restrictions

6 Complaints Abuse of Dominance VANS enforcement complaint (Case No: 11/CR/Feb 04) Complaints received by the South African Value Added Network Service ( VANS ) association o Downstream level reliant on incumbent for input fixed leased lines Incumbent found to have refused to supply of access to essential facilities and inducing customers not to deal with rival VANS Court ruled that there was not sufficient evidence for finding of excessive pricing of input Insufficient evidence of anti-competitive price discrimination Penalty of R449 million imposed on fixed line incumbent

7 Complaints Abuse of Dominance Telkom excessive pricing and margin squeeze cases 5 complaints from ISPs against fixed line incumbent for period between June 2005 and July 2007 Fixed line incumbent entered into settlement with CCSA admitting engaging in exclusionary conduct (margin squeeze) and tying and bundling Remedies and sanctions were imposed on the incumbent fixed line operator: Functional wholesale and retail separation within its business Pricing commitments for services (inputs and downstream) including in bundled offerings Telkom paid an administrative fine of R200 million

8 Complaints Abuse of Dominance Cell C vs Vodacom & MTN 3 rd MNO complained that incumbent MNOs (1 st & 2 nd ) engaging in exclusionary conduct through on-net/off-net differential pricing on voice calls o Conduct creates club effect and discourages subscribers from switching to smaller networks First mover advantages (8yrs prior to entry of 3 rd MNO) make it difficult for new and smaller rivals to gain traction in market o 1 st & 2 nd MNOs account for approx. 90% of the market in terms of revenue and subscribers o Part of challenges associated with MTR which were not effectively regulated untilaround 2010 Experiences of other countries in similar conduct o France conduct found to be exclusionary and created obstacles for other networks o Papua New Guinea Incumbent MNO with SMP ordered not to have differential about 40% o Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, Portugal, Columbia and Slovenia Differentials found to negatively affect competition by perpetuating club effect limiting ability of smaller networks to grow and compete with larger rivals The strategies employed in these jurisdictions have broadly aimed at the following: Revising the MTR charged between MNO s ( New Zealand, Portugal, Columbia and Slovenia) Dominant incumbents cannot charge an on-net rate lower than the MTR charged for off-net calls made to other networks Smaller operators were allowed to charge higher MTR s as compared to their dominant counterparts Removing differential - off-net call charges not higher than on-net call rates (Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia)

9 Mergers & Acquisitions MTN/Telkom Merger This merger involves two mobile operators, MTN and Telkom Mobile o MTN is the 2nd largest mobile operator and Telkom Mobile is the last entrant in the mobile market with the smallest market share Telkom Mobile will outsource the management, rollout & operation of its RAN to MTN o Particularly the deployment of LTE in the RAN Post-merger both firms will roam on each other s networks Areas of concern o Spectrum concentration The merger will give MTN access to significant additional spectrum from Telkom (Telkom has unused spectrum in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz)

10 Mergers & Acquisitions Spectrum concentration will give MTN a significant competitive and time advantage compared to rivals (this advantage is not as a result of competition on merits such as lower prices, quality of service etc.) MTN will have a superior network and ability to provide services that cannot be matched by rivals The lack of effective competitive constraints on MTN will result in higher prices for consumers o Loss of infrastructure-based competition o Possible input and customer foreclosure for access to: Sites and site infrastructure (site sharing seen as key element) Decommissioning of sites post-merger Fixed leased lines Telkom is the largest supplier of links used to transport traffic between sites and the core network

11 Mergers & Acquisitions Vodacom/Neotel merger The largest mobile operator acquiring the second largest fixed line operator Key issues in the merger: o Spectrum concentration and its impact on providing LTE services Spectrum access key aspect of deal Competitive advantage over rivals First mover advantages exist in SA High value consumers with lower switching patterns This may result in higher prices and/or the foreclosure and exit of smaller rivals

12 Mergers & Acquisitions o Foreclosure from access to fixed-line and RAN infrastructure Key inputs for downstream retail market for VANS, ICT and mobile telecommunications Second fixed line operator an important player in fixed line wholesale supply of leased lines Concerns around change in incentives post-merger o The removal of Neotel as a competitor Neotel a potential, if not actual entrant, into LTE services Neotel offering LTE service (limited coverage & fixed location) Effective constraint? Telkom/BCX II Fixed line incumbent acquiring downstream rival with significant presence (MNS; VANS; Hosting; ITS) Second attempt at merger o Telkom/BCX I prohibited in June 2007

13 Mergers & Acquisitions Competition concerns in Telkom/BCX I o Removal of an effective competitor and unilateral effects in MNS markets o Increased coordination in the fixed line connectivity market o Foreclosure [input & customer foreclosure; bundling] o Evasion of price regulation by incumbent fixed-line operator Sufficient grounds to prohibit so foreclosure not decided on Developments in telecommunications o 2008 court decision to allow VANS to be licensed and enter the supply of fixed line infrastructure level allows for self-provisioning by some of the VANS Indeed some of the VANS have built own networks, but to a limited extent o Addition undersea cables connected to SA (SEACOM, WACS, SAT-3, SAFE & EASY) Ended incumbent fixed line monopoly Prices have declined by as much as 90%

14 Mergers & Acquisitions o Despite more competition Telkom is still dominant in the supply of fixed line connectivity. o Three characteristics of the telecoms market: rapid change, convergence and bundling. o Three types of convergence exist: technological convergence, service convergence convergence and business o Bundling (resulting from business convergence) evidence suggests that corporates are mixed in their preference for bundles (some prefer bundles, some individual products, and others both) Current transaction o Broadly same transactions with similar markets, but now including mobile as the fixed line incumbent has entered mobile Competition concerns being evaluated o Primarily foreclosure: Access to input fixed leased lines where incumbent still the major supplier at national & metro levels Bundling including inputs and downstream products or services o Customer foreclosure in the government sector In both mobile and fixed value chains, smaller rivals have been important for competition Cost of communication was and remains relatively highin South Africa Genuine concerns on likely impact of mergers on competition & consumers (price, quality, choice)

15 Regulatory & Policy Issues Cost to Communicate Programme The sector regulator ICASA has a mandate of regulate in various areas of public interest. One of the key areas is the high cost to communicate in South Africa. As a result, ICASA has embarked on an initiative called the Cost to Communicate Programme. This programme has the overall goal of: achievement of fair and reasonable prices for products and services offered by licensed telecommunications operators.

16 Regulatory & Policy Issues Components of the Cost to Communicate Programme o Broadband Value Chain Study o Call Termination Market Review o Wholesale Transmission Services project (DTT) o Local Loop Unbundling o ICT Indicators Broadband Value Chain Analysis The study aims to consider all possible facilities and services within the electronic communications network and services in the telecommunications industry. Study to consider all potential facilities and wholesale services The main focus of the study is to define the broadband value chain, identify where, along the value chain, there is ineffective competition and establish potential remedies.

17 Regulatory & Policy Issues Call Termination Market Review Call rates (fixed and mobile) very expensive Introduced cost-oriented termination rates through the Wholesale Voice Call Termination Regulations in 2010 The following are expected outcomes of a reduction in wholesale voice call termination rates: o A reduction in the barriers to entry for competitors in competing for a broader spectrum of the retail market, o A reduction in the price charged to an end-user for a voice calls o An increase in dynamic pricing packages for voice calls o Reductions in the cost of doing business for operators

18 Regulatory & Policy Issues Wholesale Transmission Services project (DTT) Complaints regarding excessive pricing and poor signal by monopoly signal distributor Findings include: o Ineffective competition in the market o SMP or dominance o Ownership of essential facilities by single firm DTT- South Africa is moving broadcasting services from analogue to digital broadcasting. Challenges with Set Top Boxes

19 Regulatory & Policy Issues Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) Enable effective and efficient utilisation of local loop infrastructure Ensure implementation of the open-access principles facilities leasing Unbundling will allow access for other players resulting in: o Innovative services o Efficient utilisation of infrastructure o Benefits to both access seekers and access providers

20 Regulatory & Policy Issues ICT Indicators Bi-annual collection of ICT Stats Start collected include traffic flows, subscribers, revenue, outlets, broadcasting channels, employment Information centre for consumers, industry and investors Monitoring and impact assessment tool for government and regulators

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