Telecommunications Regulation. NORWAY Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

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1 Telecommunications Regulation NORWAY Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS CONTACT INFORMATION Haakon Opperud Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS Haakon VII gate Oslo What is the name and nature of the regulatory body(ies) in your jurisdiction? To which bodies (if any) are decisions appealed? The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority. Decisions are appealed to the Ministry of Transport and Communication. 2. Has your jurisdiction adopted the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement? If yes, with what exceptions, if any? Yes, with no material exceptions. 3. Are operators in your jurisdiction privately or publicly/state owned? They are all privately owned, but the Norwegian Government is the main shareholder (over 50%) in the biggest operator (Telenor ASA). 4. What are the primary differences between the regulation of wire line, wireless, satellite, cable and VoIP providers?

2 As a main rule, the Telecommunication Act regulates electric communication services in general, and therefore does not separate the different services from one another. 5. Are broadcasters regulated separately from telecoms? Yes, broadcasters are mainly regulated by the Broadcasting Act, while telecoms are mainly regulated by the Telecommunication Act. 6. How are satellite earth stations and submarine cable landings regulated? In addition to the regulations in the Telecommunications Act, fixed installations are regulated by the Planning and Building Act. It should be noted The Government may issue a decision or give consent to undertake the compulsory purchase of title to or right of use of real property for the installation of electronic communications networks and equipment for electronic communications. 7. How is the radio spectrum generally regulated? It is mandatory to apply for authorization to use all frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum, cf. the Telecommunication Act 6-2. However, short-distance transmitters which doesn t interfere with other transmitters do not need authorization. Declarations of conformity must be issued with such products (i.e. FM-transmitters for ipods). 8. Are any operators granted exclusivity? No. 9. Are anti-competitive practices subject to regulation or general competition (e.g., antitrust) laws? Yes, the Electronic Communications Act and the Competition Act regulate anticompetitive practices. Their main goal is to promote competition in all markets. When a practice obtains a strong market position, regulations are often imposed. According to the Competition Act, any excessive utilization of a dominant position in the market is illegal. So is any deal or co-operation between companies meant to restrict the competition in a market. 10. What services have been liberalized or designated as competitive services? All services related to electronic communication have been liberalized and designated as competitive services, though some services might require concession, i.e. the use of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.

3 11. Are there regulated tariffs or price lists? If so, for what types of services? Not in principle, but for companies with a strong position in the market, such tariffs and/or price lists can be imposed by the authorities, cf. the Telecommunication Act 4-9. The authorities can also regulate prices for mandatory services cf, 5-1 (see question 17). 12. Are there restrictions on foreign investment in any types of communications companies? If so, what are the restrictions? No. In general there are no restrictions for foreign investments. 13. What are the approval processes for mergers and acquisitions? Do these vary by type of operator? Implementation of for mergers and acquisitions is subject to approval from the Norwegian Competition Authority. (Thresholds apply as to which transactions falls under the Norwegian Competition Authority s jurisdiction.) If a merger or acquisition leads to or increases a substantial limitation in the competition between providers, the Norwegian Competition Authority can intervene. 14. Is interconnection between carriers mandatory? Yes, cf. the Telecommunication Act 4-2 which imposes all providers of electronic communication a duty to negotiate with other providers about interconnection. 15. Are interconnection fees/rates regulated? Not in principle, but the authorities have the option to regulate this if it is a carrier with a strong position in the market, cf. the Telecommunication Act Must carriers make available network components to competitors? If so, what are fees/prices based on cost, or market rates? Yes, if imposed by the authorities, cf. the Telecommunication Act 4-4. Fees/prices are in principle based on what the competitor offers, but if the carrier with the network components demands unreasonable fees/prices, the authorities can intervene and demand that they accept a reasonable offer from the competitor. 17. Is there an obligation to serve all customers? If yes, is there a fund to subsidize eligible carriers? Which carriers contribute to the fund? Which carriers are eligible to receive these funds? Are broadband services subsidized or otherwise promoted through tax or other incentives?

4 For some services, such obligations may be imposed, cf. the Telecommunication Act 5-1. If this obligation imposes an unreasonable burden for the carrier, the costs can be covered by a fund, cf If the obliged service is financed by a fund, the authorities can impose a duty for carriers under the Act to contribute to the fund. If so, the authorities shall arrange a competitive tendering for the service. The carriers obliged to provide the service(s) are eligible to receive the funds. Broadband services are not subsidized or otherwise promoted through tax or other incentives. 18. Are there mandatory requirements to customer agreements (subscriptions, etc.)? Yes, cf. the instructions to the Telecommunication Act 1-8. The carrier of public telecommunication services is obliged to offer the end-user an agreement for subscription which has some mandatory requirements for the information in the agreements, hereunder the scope of the agreement, relevant information about net, services, terms of maintenance, price, the duration of the agreement, terms of renewal and discontinuance, compensation and reimbursement scheme if deficiency should occur and procedure for handling of complaints. 19. Are there any general or telecommunication specific requirements as to data retention? In general, data retention is regulated by the Data Privacy Act. The Telecommunication Act also contains specific data retention rules, e.g. rules on the allowed period for storage of traffic data. It should be noted that it has been a debate whether Norway should adopt the Data Storage Directive from the EU, which require providers to retain data for at least 6 months. For the time being, this has not been adopted. 20. Is number portability mandatory? If so, for which types of carriers (e.g., wireline, wireless, voice over internet protocol)? Providers of wireline public electronic communication services (electronic communication available for the public and/or designed for the public) that use nongeographical 5-figure, 8-figure numbers or standardized special-numbers must offer number portability for users who change carrier. Other carriers are not obliged to do so. 21. Is equal access dialing selection mandatory? If yes, for which types of carriers? Carrier with a strong market position (cf. the Telecommunication Act 3-1) in the public wireline telephone-market is obliged to offer equal access dialing selection. This does not apply to the carriers in the market for wireless telecommunication.

5 22. Is access or other contributions ( ADCs ) required of new entrants? New entrants which are to provide telecommunications services must register with the NPT. In general, service providers may also be subject to demands for colocalizations etc. 23. Is VoIP regulated? If yes, to what extent? Yes, in principle it s regulated to the same extent as all other electronic communication. 24. Are any major changes to telecommunications laws expected in the near future? There are currently no new telecommunications laws expected, but the laws are constantly under revision. Thus, changes may occur. However, please note our comment on the Data Storage Directive in question Is resale of telecom services permitted? If yes, is this activity regulated? What is the process to become a reseller? Are foreign companies permitted to be resellers? Resale is allowed and will be subject to inter alia the rules and regulations of the Telecommunication Act. Foreign companies can be permitted to be resellers.

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