1998 General Trends in Telecommunication Reform 1998

World, Volume I

image of General Trends in Telecommunication Reform 1998

The report provides an overview of the telecommunication regulatory reforms and trends worldwide. Specific regulatory issues are analyzed and compared by region. This report comprises six chapters. The first chapter is dedicated to a general worldwide overview of regulatory trends. Chapters 2-6 address each region (Africa, Americas, Arab States, Asia-Pacific and Europe). All six chapters are focused on new legislation, the rise of regulatory agencies, ownership reforms, competition trends, regulatory matters and regional and international cooperation.




Telecommunication sector reform has been a priority for most European countries in the past decade. In Western Europe, the reform agenda has been dominated by market restructuring which began in the 1980s: the corporatization, then the partial or full privatization of the incumbent telecommunication operator; the introduction of competition in terminal equipment, value-added network and mobile services and finally in basic voice telephony; the establishment of an appropriate regulatory structure and ‘rules of the game’ to ensure fair conditions for competition. For the 15 European Union (EU) countries, the goal is the creation of a liberalized, competitive and harmonized single European market in telecommunication equipment and services. The institutions of the EU (the European Council, Commission, Parliament and Court of Justice) have substantial law-making powers, and a ‘telecommunication regulatory reform package’ of legislative measures to ensure the functioning of this single market has been, or is being adopted by EU member states. A key deadline of 1 January 1998 was fixed for the liberalization of voice telephony as well as telecommunication infrastructure and cable TV networks in these countries.


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