Although EU Directive 98/61 stated that EU member states should introduce carrier pre-selection by January 1 2000, a European Commission decision granted Portugal an additional transition period of two years in which to do this. However, in June 1999 the ICP (Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal, the Portuguese regulator) decided that carrier pre-selection should be introduced by June 2000.
Portugal Telecom, the incumbent operator, informed the ICP that it could not complete the necessary modifications to the network before the end of 2000, due to technical problems raised by the relevant equipment suppliers. The equipment suppliers confirmed these problems with the ICP.
After several months of discussions, the ICP decided to introduce an interim solution to carrier pre-selection, based on the installation of autodiallers. This decision is similar to that taken by the Office of Telecommunications in relation to the UK market, since it requires the incumbent to pay 50% of the autodiallers' costs.
The ICP has determined that the autodiallers will be available from July 1 2000 until the effective implementation of carrier pre-selection, which should be achieved by October 1 2000 in the Lisbon and Oporto areas.
For more information please see the ICP web site at www.icp.pt/press/1999/not235uk.html.
For further information on this topic please contact Margarida Couto at Vieira de Almeida & Associados by telephone (+3512 1 311 3400) or by fax (+3512 1 354 89 39) or by e-mail ([email protected]).
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