Wednesday , January 20 2021

Altice breaks off institutional relations with Anacom – Jornal Económico

A day after the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (Anacom) announced that telecommunications prices in Portugal had increased by 6.5% in the last eleven years, while in the European Union they had fallen by 11%, Altice Portugal unilaterally decided to suspend “all institutional relations with Anacom, other than required by law, ”said Wednesday’s statement.

At a time when the regulator and incumbent operators take opposing positions on the fifth generation of the cellular network (5G), owner Meo, who has repeatedly called for the removal of Anacom’s current board of directors, considers the price of a “drop of water”.

Altice understands that the regulator, stating that telecom prices in Portugal “compare unfavorably” with Europe, “mask the extremely serious situation with the auction of 5G technology.”

The company led by Alexandre Fonseca argues that the information disclosed by the regulator is “nothing short of untrue”, again accusing Anacom of “cheating the country”.

“The regulator insists on comparing what is not comparable, only contributing to the promotion of a regulatory context that fosters distrust, unpredictability and the promotion of divestment,” emphasizes owner Meo.

In the case of a telecommunications company, Anacom should conduct a price research or market analysis before taking official positions. This is because the company led by Alexandre Fonseca claims that the data from the National Statistics Institute and Eurostat “are indicators that should not and cannot be used for price analysis as they do not allow for real and true analysis”.

For this reason “based on the public position of analysts and international investment banks”, hold Altice Europe says they feel “fully entitled to suspend any institutional relationship with Anacom from now on, other than as required by law.”

In an allusion to protectiveness, owner Meo also mentions that it is “a pity” that other institutions “highly competent in the country are not working to root out such great irresponsibility.” The Alexandre Fonseca team understands that there is currently no “room” for “sensible and constructive dialogue” with the regulator.

What did Anacom reveal about pricing for telecommunications services?
The communications regulator announced on Tuesday, citing Eurostat data, that telecom prices in Portugal had risen by 6.5% since the end of 2009. By October 2020, while in the European Union they had fallen by 11%,

“The gap has narrowed with the entry into force of the new European rules governing intra-EU communication prices on May 15, 2019,” reads Anacom.

The organization led by João Cadete de Matos points out that only two countries have experienced higher price increases than Portugal in the last eleven years: Slovenia and Romania.

“The differences in the evolution of telecommunications prices in Portugal and the European Union are mainly due to price adjustments that providers have made over a period of several years, usually in the first months of each year,” we read.

As for Portugal, the same note emphasizes that the country “continues to record high retail prices for electronic communications offers compared to other European Union countries”.

“In a recent comparison with the 0-100 index by the European Commission, Portugal was fifth highest in the world in the EU, ahead of Spain, Greece, Ireland and Cyprus,” emphasizes Anacom.

“Prices for converged offers (eg in 4P / 5P bundles) were also the fifth highest price in the EU,” he adds, noting that the prices of personalized mobile services (voice and Internet) offers a similar position between Member States.

“Isolated broadband prices were the seventh highest in the EU,” it reads.

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