Telecommunications Services by dfhdhdhdhjr


									Telecommunications Services

                Pierre Sauvé
    Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris
  Telecommunications Services
• What are they?
• Why are they important?
• What disciplines under GATS
  – Annex
  – Agreement Basic Telecoms
• What of the future?
  What are Telecommunications
• Services Sectoral Classification List
  SERVICES, C. Telecommunications
• Two categories:
  – Basic telecoms: simple relay of voice or data
    from sender to receiver
  – Value-added telecoms: where suppliers add
    value to customer’s information
    Basic Telecommunications
• Include all telecoms, public and private,
  involving end-to-end transmission of
• E.g., voice telephone services, packet-
  switched data transmission services, circuit-
  switched data transmission services, telex,
  telegraph, fax, private leased circuits PLUS
     Basic Telecommunication
• Other: e.g., mobile phones, mobile data
  services, paging personal communication
  services (data, paging), fixed satellite
  services, teleconferencing, video transport.
• Commitments cover a range of technologies
  (i.e., technological means of providing these
  services) unless otherwise specified
     Basic Telecommunication
• Long distance, local, international,
• Wire-based (all types of cable), radio-based
  (all forms of wireless, including satellite)
• Non-facilities based (i.e.: on a resale basis),
  facilities -based
• For public (available to public generally)
  and non-public (sold to closed user groups)
  Telecommunications Services
• Suppliers add value to the customer’s
  information by enhancing its form or
  context or by providing for its storage or
  – e.g., email, voice mail, on-line information and
    database retrieval, EDI, value-added fax
    services (store and forward/retrieve), code and
    protocol conversion, on-line information or
    data processing.
        What are NOT
 Telecommunications Services?
• Film, radio and television, sound recording
  NOT included
    Audiovisual services

• However, technological change is blurring
  some of the categories...
      Why are they Important?
• Backbone industry for entire economy
  – Enormous sector in itself
  – cheap telecoms essential to Internet uptake and
    e-trade opportunities
• BUT also vital to all other sectors
  – Efficient telecoms essential to trade in many
  – Transports many other services (e.g., computer
    services, professional services)
   Telecommunications Annex
• Recognising that telecoms essential to the
  supply of other services for which
  commitments made, gives right of access to
  and use of public telecoms transport
  network and services on reasonable and
  non-discriminatory terms and conditions
  – MFN, national treatment and terms and
    conditions as good as any other user in like
   Telecommunications Annex
• Includes telephone, telegraph, telex, data
• Does not:
  – Include cable or broadcast of radio and
  – Grant market access in telecoms sectors
  – Require establishment or supply of networks or
    services not available to public generally
    Telecommunications Annex
• Detailed list of rights
   – e.g., buy or lease equipment needed to connect,
     connect private circuits to public, use public
     network to transmit information
   – Developing countries can limit this if necessary
     to strengthen domestic telecommunications
     infrastructure and service capacity and increase
     participation in international trade BUT must
   Telecommunications Annex
• Transparency
  – All relevant information (e.g., tariffs, technical
    specifications, conditions, licensing
    requirements) publicly available
• Technical cooperation
• International standards
• Cooperation with relevant international
  organisations, e.g., ITU
       After Uruguay Round
• Commitments made for value added
  telecoms BUT not basic telecoms
• Negotiations commenced May 1994,
  deadline April 1996
• Voluntary participation NGBT
  – Initially 33 Governments
  – By end April 1996 were 53 + 24 observers
  Agreement on Basic Telecoms
• April 1996, offers from 48 Governments
• Harvested in Protocol and negotiations
  extended until 15 February 1997
  – new GBT including all WTO members
  – only acceding countries were observers
• Resumed July 1996, concluded February
  1997; entered into force February 1998
Agreement on Basic Telecoms
– 55 schedules (69 Members) annexed to GATS
      – over 40 developing countries
      – 91% global telecoms market
– Developing countries active participants, many
  using pre-commitments to phase liberalisation
   • many commitments on mode 3 to attract investment
– Commitments made in, e.g.,
      –   voice telephony (63 governments)
      –   data transmission (65)
      –   other types of mobile services (62)
      –   satellite related communications (53)
           Reference Paper

– Need for regulatory framework to underpin and
  safeguard market access commitments
– Scheduled as additional commitments (Article
  XVIII) on a voluntary basis (in whole or in
   • 63/69 governments committed to regulatory
     disciplines; 59 to the whole or most of Reference
             Reference Paper
– Competitive safeguards (abuse of dominance)
      – e.g., anti-competitive cross-subsidisation or use of
        information gained from competitors
– Interconnection
      –   any technically feasible point in network
      –   non-discrimination re terms and conditions
      –   cost-oriented rates, sufficiently unbundled
      –   interconnection agreements publicly available
– Transparent licensing, i.e, availability of
      – criteria
      – time normally required for decision
      – terms and conditions individual licenses
           Reference Paper
– Universal service obligations
   • maintain whatever you want BUT must be
      – administered in transparent, non-discriminatory and
        competitively-neutral manner
      – not more burdensome than necessary.
– Independent regulator
– Allocation scarce resources
   • e.g., spectrum, numbers
   • timely transparent and non-discriminatory
          New Negotiations
• 9 proposals on Telecommunications:
• Canada, Colombia, European Communities
  and their Member States, Korea,
  Switzerland, US.
  – also mentioned in omnibus proposals by Chile,
    Japan and Norway.
      Challenges for the future
• How to use the GATS and GATS
  commitments to add ballast to domestic
  reform efforts?
  – Pre-commitments option
• Reference Paper - fill in the blanks
  – interconnection and competition safeguards
    becoming more important
  – large international operators may require
    regulatory cooperation between countries
      Challenges for the future
• Meeting social and other policy objectives
  in a liberalised environment
  – universal service obligations applying evenly to
    number of competitors
  – rules to safeguard consumer interests?
• Regulatory challenges from technology
  – spectrum allocation as demand increases
  – convergence vs traditional categories for
Thank you

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