Search all issues

powered by FreeFind

Send Your Feedback!

Liberalised telecoms bring lower tariffs, better service

"Nearly one in two persons in Malta today own a mobile telephone. This considerable increase is a result of the gradual liberalisation of the telecommunications market, where consumers today are benefiting from lower tariffs and a better service" announced Transport and Communications Minister, Censu Galea during a forum entitled ‘Client’s rights in a liberalised telecommunications environment. Are you informed?’
Organised by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in conjunction with the Consumers Affairs Council, the forum was aimed at bringing together the operators and their clients, to inform them and seek their views on the relevant legislation, in respect of the existing scenario and of the forthcoming changes in telecommunications.
The Minister for Transport and Communications added that, "Competition has also had the same impact in other sectors. The number of internet subscribers now amounts to almost 32 per cent of the whole population. Furthermore, the approval by Parliament earlier this year of the Electronic Commerce Act, the enactment of the distance selling regulations and the measures being taken by the e-Malta commission to promote an information society and economy in Malta, are all initiatives which are being undertaken to make information society a reality in Malta. In fact, the coming into force of the E-Commerce Act will mean that certain transactions carried out on the internet will now have the force of law. The new norms on distance selling mean that consumers are entitled to certain rights including notably the right to reject the product purchases within a cooling-off period of 15 days from the receipt of the product."
Speaking about the role of the Malta Communications Authority in a liberalised telecommunications environment, MCA Chairman Joseph V. Tabone said that "In accordance with the Malta Communications Authority’s mandate and in line with its strategies, the Authority has a number of duties and responsibilities including promoting the interest of consumers. In this respect the MCA is currently finalizing a code of practice for internet service providers (ISPs), after discussions with the ISP sub-section of the Chamber of Commerce."
This code of practice is intended as a means of self-regulation with regard to ISP’s interaction with the public and amongst themselves.
The programme of the forum also included a keynote address by the Director of ENCIP (European Network for Communications and Information Perspective) Dr Jacques Arlandis. In his presentation Dr Arlandis spoke about ICT market developments, assessing the impact of new regulation schemes and comparing consumer expectations to the supply of commitment services
Dr Arlandis’ address was followed by eight presentations by representatives of the telecommunications and the information society industries. The telecommunications panel was composed of Antoinette Camilleri, customer care manager, Vodafone Malta Ltd, Dr Mario Caruana, senior legal counsel, Maltacom plc, Michael Balzan, senior executive, customer care, go mobile and Benny Borg Bonello, president of the Maltese Consumers’ Association, while the information society panel consisted of Dr Michael Frendo, managing partner, Gatt, Frendo, Tufigno, Frank Leiter, chief executive officer, Melita Cable plc, Victor Camilleri, e-government project manager, CIMU and Carmen Delia, Chairman, Consumer Affairs Council.
The forum came to an end with a discussion session and a closing address by Dr Paul E. Micallef, Senior Legal Advisor for the Malta Communications Authority.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt