MADEM - Comunicações da Madeira, S.A, has been licensed by ICP to provide a Fixed Telephone Service. Under the conditions of this license, the operator is entitled to provide a fixed telephone service, in the national territory, as from 1 January 2000, according to Decree-Law nr. 381-A/97, of December 30, which establishes the conditions for operating public telecommunications networks and providing public use telecommunications services.
Within the scope of the process launched by ICP on 15 June 1999, it can be recalled that E3G, Sonae - Redes de Dados, Maxitelsat, Teleweb, Jazztel, Optimus, Telecel, Global One, Interoute and TMN have already been licensed for the Fixed Telephone Service.
Voice telephony is the last of the market segments to be opened to competition. When this happens, on 1 January 2000, the Portuguese telecommunications market will be fully liberalised.
The opening of fixed telephony to competition will be carried out through two access types: Direct Access and Indirect Access. The former does not differ from the current relationship between the Portuguese historic operator and the consumer, allowing new operators to install telephone equipment in homes or in the companies of their clients. Thus, all types of calls are made available.
On the other hand, Indirect Access allows telephone connections to be directed by fixed service, carriers, without the need to change operator and by reducing contractual formalities to a minimum. This type of access to the service will allow for a call-by-call selection of operator for interurban and international calls as from 1 January 2000.