Prague, August 7, 2019 – Today, the European Commission (EC) issued a Statement of Objections concerning the mobile network sharing between T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. on the one hand and Cetin, O2, on the other hand. The Commission investigation started in 2016 and the Statement of Objections is a preliminary procedural step that does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. T-Mobile strongly opposes the preliminary conclusions of the Statement of Objections in view of the vast benefits that network sharing has brought to innovation and consumers in the Czech market such as cost synergies, improving network quality and speeding up deployment of next generation networks. The advantages of network sharing have not only been recognized by several National Competition Authorities, but also by the EC itself in its latest Electronic Communications Code explicitly promoting co-investments. The conclusions mention the alleged consequence of the sharing: “network sharing agreement is likely to remove the incentives for the two mobile operators to improve their networks and services to the benefit of users”. The operator does not agree with such conclusions and will prepare a response to the EC’s Statement of Objections demonstrating the pro-competitive effects of mobile network sharing and its critical role for timely deploying high quality networks.
Network sharing is a standard way of collaborating between operators and has created benefits around the world. The Czech Republic fully reflects these benefits, as it ranks among the top 10 countries in the world with regard to quality of mobile networks according to independent measurements such as Open Signal, P3 or Ookla. Czech operators introduce various technological innovations every year and they invest in the development of 5G technologies and their fiber networks. “The EC's statement is in a stark contrast to these facts, which is why we strongly oppose it. Czech customers use the highest quality mobile networks of all generations, which cover almost 100% of the territory of the Czech Republic, so they certainly do not suffer any negative consequences from network sharing,” says José Perdomo Lorenzo, CEO T-Mobile and Slovak Telekom.
The EC decision could also be seen as a destabilizing signal for the investments in constructing 5G networks. “It is surprising that the EC comes with an unprecedented decision on network sharing only when 5G auctions are running across Europe. The introduction of the much-anticipated 5G will not be possible without network sharing - given the higher costs and lower profitability of the new generation of networks“, adds Lorenzo.
T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, has almost 6.2 million customers, the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to telecommunications services, it offers comprehensive ICT solutions not only for companies, but also for other organizations and individuals. It provides outstanding services in the high-speed network, which was proved repeatedly by benchmark testing performed by umlaut (former P3) with Best-in-Test seal.
T-Mobile Czech Republic places emphasis on taking a responsible approach to the environment and society. It adheres to fair business practices, helps beneficial applications and services to see the light of day, supports non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals, and lends a helping hand whenever crisis situations arise. The company’s employees serve as volunteers in many places across the entire Czech Republic.
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