25 Sep 2017 18:42

FAS ready to lift barriers for operators to compensate for loss of income as roaming charges abolished

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) - The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is prepared to help telecommunications operators by lifting barriers to business expansion to compensate for the loss of income following the abolition of roaming charges, FAS chief Igor Artemyev said.

"The abolition of roaming charges will not lead to anyone paying more, this is unacceptable. This will not happen. We have said that we will assist in every possible way in lifting unnecessary additional barriers. We are really focusing on this as companies are making a conciliatory gesture and broadly speaking, are losing certain resources. We will strive to help on behalf of the government so that they can expand their business and can make more money," he said.

He said that the issue revolved around the user first and foremost from the point of view of receiving convenient and simple services without increased tariffs. However the agency also did not want to make the situation worse for operators. "Our task is not to have companies lose out through this, but to expand their business in areas they cannot enter because of barriers, to have them enter these spheres. This means liberalization, a change to directives, which Nikolai Anatolyevich [Nikiforov, Russian Communications Minister] agreed to, and this is of course our job," he said.

Artemyev named indiscriminate access of communications operators to households as one of the barriers. "We have a problem of accessing households when a management company allows one operator and does not allow another, even though it has the technical capability. Competition is limited as a result. In order to solve this problem, we need to issue a government act which spells out the rules of non-discriminatory access in the corresponding area," he said.