The liberalization of the telecommunications market is almost complete

The liberalization of the telecommunications market is good, because it increases the number of operators in the market, which creates a lot more competition, which directly affects the higher quality of services, said State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications, Stefan Lazarević.

“In the end, this means greater customer satisfaction. We, as a ministry, are directing a lot of attention towards consumer protection in such a growing market,” stated Lazarević for “Tanjug”.

He added that today we do not have competition in the provision of individual services, as is it was the case in the past, rather in a liberalized market we have competition in service packages, and that is what brings a special dynamic to the Serbian market.

Noting that there are numerous studies on the significant impact of the development of this market on the economic development of a country, Lazarević said that fixed number portability is one of the final segments of the process of liberalization of the telecommunications market in Serbia, which was legally drafted in 2010.

“Luckily, it went smoothly. The law introduced a regime of general authorizations, resolved the issue of interconnection, enabled effective management of the radio frequency spectrum, brought technological neutrality, and enabled fixed and mobile number portability,” recalled Lazarević.

Fixed number portability came into effect much earlier in some countries in the region, while in Serbia, where there was a delay, this process is ongoing, as one of the last steps of market liberalization.

The Director of the Republic Agency for Electronic Communications Milan Janković said that since the introduction of number portability services in fixed telephony, on April 1, between 700 and 800 requests were filed, and more than 400 were completed.

He said that the deadline for the service is being complied with, and that there have not yet been any complaints about exceeding the time limit of three plus three days, adding that according to the Regulation, the users have to pay up to 165 dinars for their request, if the operators have not renounced their fees.

Janković added that we can expect increased investment in broadband internet in the upcoming period, which will create a greater range of services for users.

According to him, the development of broadband services could make for five to six percent of GDP by 2020.

The head of the Economic Department of the EU delegation in Serbia Freek Janmaat stated that Serbia is facing several challenges in the area of telecommunications, including the completion of the digitalization process with the deadline of June 17, 2015, and one of the main preconditions for it is the adoption of the Law on Media.

Also, it is necessary to regulate the digital dividends, and to guarantee financial and operational independence of regulatory bodies, said Janmaat.

He pointed out that the liberalization of the telecommunications market is one of the most important challenges that the regulator and the Government are facing not only in Serbia but also in the region, adding that special attention should be paid to the development of a legal and regulatory framework that provides new and better services and services at reasonable prices, thus stimulating economic development.

Janmaat recalled that compliance with European regulatory frameworks is a key requirement for countries wishing to join the EU.

He added that Serbia is well positioned in the area of mobile services, especially in the 3G segment, which even exceeds the European average.