The strategic objectives of ICP-ANACOM for 2008 were outlined in the strategic plan for the three years period of 2008-2010, focusing on five main areas:
- Promote open and competitive markets;
- Uphold and protect the rights of users and citizens in general;
- Improve the regulator's efficiency and capability for action;
- Participate in the development of the internal market of the European Union (EU), improving internal ''performance'';
- Promote institutional and technical cooperation.
Below, a brief summary is given of the main accomplishments in the context of each of the main strategies which encompassed the regulatory activity of ICP-ANACOM in 2008.
To promote open and competitive markets
In this context, the main areas of action planned for 2008 meriting particular note are those resulting from the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications (including the process of reviewing the analyses of markets and the associated obligations and developing the regulatory framework applicable to next generation access networks (NGA), the definition of principles, actions and timetables associated with the publication of quality indicators with respect to regulated wholesale offers, the development of specific studies (especially on the evolution of NGA and the functional separation of networks and evaluation of cost models in terms of fixed and mobile networks), the process of designating the provider(s) of the US in the context of electronic communications and the activities of advising the Government, the review of the price and quality conventions of CTT - Correios de Portugal, S.A. (CTT) and all actions related to the implementation of digital terrestrial television (DTT). It is noted that some of these measures and others, related particularly to the management of the spectrum from a strategic perspective (secondary trading, mobile TV, digital dividend, reformulation of the NFAP 1, availability of the 2.5 GHz band) are also related to the second objective (to uphold and protect the rights of users and citizens in general).
As highlighted in the specific sections of this Report, there were important developments in this area, with the completion or achievement of significant progress in many of the activities planned during the year 2008, even while there was a need to select some priorities and delay or discontinue certain actions considered less relevant, whether due to their nature or timing or due to developments occurring in the meantime, including developments at community level. This is particularly the case of actions relating to the review of the radio tenures regime, the analysis of wholesale SMS and mobile broadband access markets, the definition or revision of cost models and the implementation of the revision of Directive 87/372/EC which provides for the ''refarming'' of the 900 MHz spectrum allocated to the GSM service 2, with the latter two of these heavily influenced by EU schedules. Moreover, the allocation of resources to the review of the Portability Regulation (also in the plan for 2009), and the many questions raised in 2009 on the operation of this feature, made it necessary to delay the planned development of the Numbering Regulation.
Regarding the management of the radio spectrum, the aim was to maintain the perspective of its alignment with the regulatory objectives established for ICP-ANACOM, which was present in the annual review of the NFAP and in other decisions taken in this area over the course of 2008, with emphasis on the preparation of the process for allocating radio spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, from a perspective of technological and service neutrality. In this respect, it is noted that some activities were not completed during 2008, since the internal reflection needed to launch public consultations (sometimes influenced by the agenda of the European Commission) was extended during this year. This situation applies to mobile TV, secondary spectrum trading and the digital dividend.
To uphold and protect the interests of users and citizens in general
In terms of upholding and protecting the rights of users and citizens in general the main actions planned for 2008 included those connected to the development of dispute settlement mechanisms and their extension to the electronic communications sector, oversight of the implementation of the Regulation on international roaming, analysis of the quality of the land mobile service and Internet access and the prices of postal services, the process of specification and implementation of 112L and various tests related to communications security, the implementation of the range of social support services 116xxx created by decision of the European Commission (EC), as well as various studies related to consumption patterns and the socio-demographic profiling of end-users and benchmark comparisons of postal service prices.
In general the actions planned were concluded, while it is noted that the consultation on the possible allocation of numbers directly to end customers was postponed until 2009 for reasons of priority and given the need to gather additional information on the subject.
To improve the regulator's efficiency and performance capacity
In order to achieve this objective, and among the various courses of action taken in 2008 and more directly linked to the activity of regulation, note should be made of the creation of a numbering database, the development and implementation of which was contracted in 2008, while the accomplishment of the latter was concluded only in 2009.
Additionally, ICP-ANACOM has continued a very significant effort to reduce consultancy costs and undertake studies and analysis necessary for its regulatory function using internal resources.
Participate in the development of the internal market of the European Union (EU), improving internal ''performance''
In order to participate actively in the development of the EU internal market and improve internal ''performance'', making it possible to envisage innovative strategies and anticipate problems and their solutions, ICP-ANACOM identified the following as major issues of regulation for 2008 at a Community level: the adoption of the new European regulatory framework, regulation of roaming, the review of US, the procedures under article 7 of the Framework Directive (Directive 2002/21/EC of 7 March 2002) and the new recommendations on relevant markets.
In this context, and as set out in the specific section of this report, the active involvement of ICP-ANACOM is noted, both in terms of its activity as the independent regulatory authority and in terms of its remit as adviser to the Government, in several community and European issues, contributing to the respective documents and common positions.
To promote institutional and technical cooperation
In the context of promoting technical and institutional cooperation, ICP-ANACOM continued cooperation with other countries and national regulatory authorities in the communications sector, focusing in particular on relationships with other Portuguese speaking countries.
In this context experts were made available in matters of regulation and market analysis for the various bilateral or multilateral cooperation projects.
1 National Frequency Allocation Plan.
2 Global system for mobile communications.