Switzerland and LiechtensteinWT/TPR/S/208 Page 123
Price Controller advised the Federal Council to explore the possibility of a bilateral agreement with the EC with a view to reducing mobile roaming tariffs.
In cases relating to telecommunications services, the Competition Commission operates in close cooperation with OFCOM and ComCom (Chapter III(4)(iii)). Market dominance is examined by ComCom on a case-by-case basis as part of interconnection procedures. In February 2007, the Competition Commission decided that Swisscom Mobile had abused its dominant market position and imposed a fine of over Sw F 333 million72, and in September 2007, decided that Swisscom had abused its dominant position in the area of broadband internet access.
Since its last TPR, Liechtenstein has implemented various EC directives on telecommunications.73 As a result, a new Communication Act, which entered into force in June 2006, eliminated the licence system. All activities in the area of electronic communication are licence-free; a notification to the Liechtenstein Office for Communications, the national regulatory authority, is required.
Since January 2007, state-owned Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke (LKW) has owned the major part of the communication network. Telecom Liechtenstein AG74, which had a turnover of Sw F 51.2 million in 2007, is a fully state-owned company providing fixed-line services and responsible for network planning, operation, and maintenance. Both companies are obliged to make their infrastructure available to other enterprises in a neutral, non-discriminatory, and cost-based manner. Interconnection regulations are based on the relevant EC principles. Neither Telecom Liechtenstein AG nor LKW enjoy any exclusive rights.
Four mobile phone companies were in operation as at August 2008. Interconnection charges are agreed between operators. There are some 50% more mobile connections than fixed lines (Table IV.13). Portability of numbers is not yet ensured. A study commissioned by the Office for Communications in 2007 on Liechtenstein's mobile telephone market concluded that competition was insufficient as barriers to entry were high and established companies had significant market power, all of which had led to higher-than-necessary prices.75 A market analysis of Liechtenstein's telecommunication market is ongoing (August 2008) to determine whether any of the fixed net or mobile companies have significant market power, which might require regulatory measures.
Liechtenstein main telecom indicators, 2006
Main (fixed) telephone lines in operation
Main (fixed) telephone lines/100 inhabitants
Mobile cellular telephone subscribers (digital)
Mobile cellular telephone subscribers/100 inhabitants
72 The final decision is pending (June 2008) as Swisscom Mobile lodged a complaint before the Federal Court.
73 These are: the Access Directive (2002/19/EC); the Authorization Directive (2002/20/EC); the Framework Directive (2002/21/EC); the Universal Service Directive (2002/22/EC); and the e-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC).
74 The company was called Liechtenstein TeleNet AG until 2007. Liechtenstein Telecom AG was the result of the merger of Liechtenstein TeleNet AG and its subsidiary Telecom FL AG at end-2007.
75 Amt für Kommunikation (2007).