EC backs Slovenian watchdog to improve mobile competition

The European Commission has endorsed the Slovenian regulator's (APEK) plan to oblige the country’s largest mobile operator, Mobitel, to continue providing competitors with access to its network at regulated prices.

Unlike most other EU countries, Slovenia's market for wholesale access and call origination on mobile networks is not competitive: rivals rely Mobitel's network to provide national coverage and services to their subscribers.

Once they have rolled out their own networks, regulation should be withdrawn, the Commission stated.

"Alternative operators must be given sufficient time to climb the investment ladder and roll out their own networks. In Slovenia, competition is still fragile and market entrants are still heavily dependent on Mobitel's nation-wide network. Regulation is needed to speed up competition and give consumers more choice and cheaper prices," said Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner.