Telecoms Regulatory Resources


Regulatory intervention in the telecommunications sector has always been important. This role is vital in the Internet era, due to the new emerging technologies that pose new challenges for the traditional regulatory framework. The deregulation of telecoms is an issue that will continue to be of great importance in the coming years. New sectors in the telecommunications market have emerged. Others by taking advantage of radical technologies have expanded to other sectors, while the role of the traditional PTTs is revisited. New regulatory authorities have been established that restructure the market structure in this new telecommunications era, in order to ensure free and fair competition in the national telecommunication markets and advanced cheap network services for the citizens.

Selected References

Selected references to some of the most challenging topics of telecoms regulation are provided below.

Digital Signatures

The need for secure authentication and identification of users is crucial for e-commerce applications. To this end, digital signature seems to be the proper means of copying with the various user authentication related problems. This new technology and its impact on e-trade has important technological, legislative and regulatory implications.


Secondary spectrum markets

Secondary markets in spectrum rights are proposed as a means of satisfying the increasing customer demand for scarse (wireless) bandwidth and a way of attaining economic efficiency. Resale of licences in secondary markets may be prohibited due to older regulatory decisions regarding the terms of allocation of spectrum licenses. Several means of trade have been proposed for these markets, including negotiations and auctions.


Voice Over IP

Voice over IP enables the provision of voice services from IP networks. Provision of voice services had been an exclusive market for traditional PSTN carriers for decades. The IP packet switching networks and the Voice Over IP (VoIP) technology has changed that, creating new market opportunities and business models. At the same time, this new reality calls for regulatory changes so that market competition is perserved and customers enjoy voice services for a reasonable cost.


3G networks spectrum allocation

3G networks promise the provision of wireless broadband services to their customers. The UMTS and WCDMA standards require specific frequencies of the wireless spectrum in order to provide these broadband services. Due to the scarcity of the spectrum, in order to allocate the available spectrum efficiently, regulators have adopted innovative trading mechanisms, mostly auctions. In US, spectrum reallocation is also taken under consideration as a means of providing broadband 3G services.


WLANs, spectrum usage and regulation

Wireless network carriers have traditionally been obliged to buy spectrum licences in order to provide services to customers by exploiting a specific part of the wireless spectrum under strict rules. The evolution of wireless local access networks (WLANs) - HyperLan and mainly 802.11 technologies - changes this requirement since the frequencies used are those of the unlicensed ISM band. This enables new business models and the creation of Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) that provide wireless access to their customers over unreserved spectrum. This new technology constitutes an open issue for regulation worldwide.



Broadband services are an extremely important sector of the telecoms industry. The different regulatory frameworks of various countries have a great impact on customer charge, adoption of new technologies (optical, fiber) and market penetration.


Universal Service

The concept of universal service has traditionally referred to the goal that all citizens must have easy access to affordable telephone service. As the concept of an information society has emerged, the concept of Universal Service has broadened to include access to information services. Due to the increasingly important role of electronic business, communication, and research, access to the computers and communications networks is considered my most regulators to be as important as access to traditional telephone services. Thus, it is important to construct a regulatory framework that should enable schoolos, libraries, communities and citizens to become active members of the information society.


Number Portability

Telephone number portability is a service that enables telephone customers to retain, at the same location, their existing local telephone numbers when migrating from one local telephone service provider to another. Number portability diminishes a major barrier to competition, which was the inability of customers to switch from one telephone company to another while retaining the same telephone number. Most countries' regulators have imposed telephone number portability.


Energy market reform

There is a worldwide market restructure in the energy sector in order to create large competitive markets where electric power should be trased as a commodity even in short time scales.Moreover, EU is promoting the interconnection of the major electric power transport networks in Europe. This market restructure imposes severe regulatory challenges in order to create a competitive market in the areas of energy production, resale and transport.


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