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The seventh HAKOM’s Market Day was held within the framework of MIPRO 2020 Conference

NEWS

Three panel discussions were held, and the president of the Council of HAKOM, Tonko Obuljen, presented the most important activities on the electronic communications market in the close future, and commented on the previous period, which in many respects was challenging and different.

ZAGREB, 1 October 2020 – The 43 rd. International Meeting on information, Communication and Electronic Technology MIPRO 2020 opened in Opatija on Wednesday (September the 30th). The 7th traditional HAKOM market day was held as a guest event. The topics discussed at the round table were the deployment of 5G technology, wholesale conditions for access to newly deployed networks, as well as transparency of conditions for the use of public communications services. The president of the HAKOM Council, Tonko Obuljen presented the most important activities on the electronic communications market.

-The previous period has brought many challenges, regarding their business operations the pandemic has caused changes for all including HAKOM; we have faced work from home and digitised business to a greater extent, which has not created obstacles, but has brought new motivation for us to continue digitisation in the future. The pandemic also affected the operators’ business activities, who treated private users and those affected by earthquakes, as well as business users, Obuljen said in his opening speech. He pointed out that a significant drop in revenues occurred, so that HRK 300 million less was achieved in the first half of 2020 than in the same period last year. Over the same period, total investments in the electronic communications networks have increased, in particular investments in mobile networks, which is estimated to be the consequence of the allocation of new frequencies. Investments in fixed networks, especially in new fibre networks, have been somewhat reduced and there is room for improvement here. As far as broadband Internet coverage is concerned, it is slightly better than the EU average in the Republic of Croatia, however, the number of available high-speed connections is not satisfactory. About 40 percent of our customers already use speeds over 30 Mbit/s today, but just over 10 percent of them speeds over 100 Mbit/s. Since last year, the available within the universal service has increased to 4 Mbit/s.

 
The Internet traffic recorded the increase in April
 
The Republic of Croatia is extremely demanding to cover, there is a relatively small number of densely populated urban areas, there are many rural areas, and it is a long border and a large island area. Although territorial coverage is not complete, we can talk about excellent coverage of the population.

In the field of infrastructure, as pointed out, there are great opportunities to improve the number of fibre connectors, currently slightly above 100 thousand, but it is encouraged by the fact that in the next three years there is an announcement that new networks will be deployed, which should  be tripled at least. A revision of the Directive on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic s planned, as well as our Broadband Cost Reduction Directive, which has not been implemented in practice yet. The current number of fibre connectors providing very high Internet access capacity is not satisfactory, and HAKOM cooperates on these projects through BEREC with the European Commission and hopes for a new contribution and encouragement for networks deployment. Compared to the previous year, there was a huge Internet Traffic Growth, and the traffic reached its record in April this year. Traffic was 58% higher than the same month last year and congestion did not occur, Obuljen said.
 
Allocation of a portion of the spectrum until mid-next year
 
He pointed out that the increase in traffic must be accompanied by constant investments in networks, and the Government of the Republic of Croatia has adopted a National Plan for the transition to the DVB-T2 system in order to release the 700 MHz band for the 5G network. The migration will take place at the end of October and at the beginning of November this year, and the network is mostly already commercially operational. HAKOM conducted public consultations in order to ensure the allocation of 5G spectrum, and according to the received comments of the operator HAKOM decided to allocate a portion of the spectrum mid-next year, followed by the remaining spectrum. In addition, amendments to allocation plans in the existing part of the spectrum have been initiated to enable the application of 5G technology. Within its website, HAKOM launched a special 5G page to inform the public about the benefits of 5G technology and prevent any false news that appears. The EC recommendation on simpler and better methods of network deployment should greatly help develop 5G technology. Cybersecurity has reached the focus of approaching the 5G network, and Croatia must choose certain strategic and technical measures from the 5G Toolbox prepared by the EC, which will be worked on in the forthcoming period in cooperation with the National Cybersecurity Council. Certain technical measures will be laid down in the HAKO’s Ordinance. In addition, the EC adopted a new electronic Communications Code at the end of 2018, and all the Member States are obliged to harmonise by December of this year, so that Croatia is currently in the process of harmonization.
 
In the last period HAKOM completed two market analyses. One refers to the wholesale high-quality access market and determines HT as a market operator with significant market power to provide access to high-quality access services to other competitors on the market. The second refers to wholesale transmission segments of high-quality access services and it is prescribed in such a way that the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia is divided into a territory that has competitive relations and one that is considered non-competitive. HAKOM will regulate non-competitive relations because it is of the opinion that there is competition on competitors.
 
In his report, the president of the Council of HAKOM also referred to user disputes which in the previous period have been reduced, as a result of years of work on the elaboration of regulations and customer protection. The aforementioned Act has introduced certain changes in this area and user rights will be harmonised at the European level. In the Republic of Croatia, user rights exceed the levels stipulated by the Code and therefore stressed the belief that, in cooperation with operators, the continuation of good practices will be ensured.
 
A declaration of market activities is accessible on the link.

HAKOM will publish videos with round tables on social networks.

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For additional information please contact:
Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM)
Roberta Frangeša Mihanovića 9
10110 Zagreb, Croatia
Tel. + 385 (0) 1 700 70 07
Fax + 385 (0)1 700 70 70
 
Media inquiries can be submitted online using HAKOM’s official website: https://www.hakom.hr/
Registration required.
 
ABOUT HAKOM: HAKOM (www.hakom.hr) - Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries – ensures preconditions for a fair market competition, stable growth and environment for innovations in the electronic communications and postal services market. HAKOM protects users’ interests and the possibility of choice among various communications and postal services at affordable prices, defines sustainable competitive conditions for operators and service providers under fair conditions for return on investment, and provides support to economic growth, public services and the quality of life in the Republic of Croatia by using modern technologies. HAKOM’ strategic goals are: to promote regulation of the electronic communications and postal services market, to support growth of investments and innovations in the electronic communications and postal services market, to provide efficient use of limited resources, to accelerate the growth of broadband products and services, to provide affordable offers of communications and postal services, to provide protection and informing of users, to build an efficient and comprehensive information system, to define and implement efficient processes, and to acquire multi-disciplinary.

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