The Maltese regulatory authority MCA has today published a consultation document which contains the market definition, SMP assessment and proposed regulatory obligations for the retail leased lines market, for wholesale terminating segments of leased lines and for wholesale trunk segments of leased lines.

The MCA proposes to define the market for retail "traditional interface" leased lines as incorporating the Minimum Set of leased lines up to and including 2 Mbit/s as identified by the European Commission, but it has added a retail market for international leased lines.

The MCA does not include the xDSL services currently available in Malta into any of these markets, as it finds that all xDSL services available have functional differences that indicate that they cannot be considered to be functionally equivalent to a traditional leased line. A limited set of ADSL products with symmetric upload and download data rates are available but they have limited guaranteed availability of service compared to leased lines.

The proposal for the wholesale markets follows the separation of the European Commission's Recommendation on Relevant Markets Susceptible to Ex-Ante Regulation, i.e. treating separately the market for wholesale terminating segments of leased lines and the market for wholesale trunk segments of leased lines. As regards the trunk segments market, this is further segmented into a market for national and international trunk segments.

The MCA considers that Maltacom Plc should be designated as having Significant Market Power (with 100% market share on all markets considered), and proposes to impose the following retail obligations onto Maltacom:

  • Non-discrimination
  • Cost orientation for retail tariffs
  • Cost accounting
  • Accounting separation
  • Transparency.

As regards the wholesale markets, the following obligations are put forward:

  • Access to/and use of specific network facilities
  • Non-discrimination
  • Transparency
  • Price control and cost accounting
  • Accounting separation

Written inputs with respect to all parts of its draft analysis are to be filed by 3 March, 2006, 16.00h.

The MCA's consultation document (in English) can be accessed by clicking here.