ITU-T Study Group 3 creates new teams on OTTs and competition policy

The ITU-T expert group responsible for economic and policy aspects of ICTs has created two new Rapporteur Groups, one mandated to study the economic impact of over-the-top services, another the implications of “significant market power” for ICT regulation and the definition of relevant markets.

Meeting in Geneva, 26-30 May, ITU-T Study Group 3 (Economic and policy issues) progressed its established and emerging work areas and also discussed means to revamp its working methods to increase the group’s output through better coordination internally and with other ITU expert groups.

In addition to the formation of the two new Rapporteur Groups, SG3 appointed a new Co-Rapporteur to the team tackling mobile roaming. An expert representing the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Bahrain brings a government’s perspective to the group’s leadership team, complementing those of Japanese operator, KDDI, and Korea’s Sunchon National University.

The study of roaming remains a high priority of SG3’s and a proposed cost model for roaming was presented at the meeting to the benefit of this study. The cost model was developed by a consultant to the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) in response to the key outcomes of the ITU High-Level Workshop on Regulatory and Economic Aspects of Roaming, 23-14 September 2013, one of which was regulators’ call for ITU to commission an independent report on the subject.

The new Rapporteur Group on “Economic Impact of OTTs” will gather data from Member States and regions regarding the impact of OTTs on their relevant markets, analyzing their impact on the business of telecom providers with a view to identifying associated implications for ICT regulation. The group will work in coordination with ITU’s Development Sector (ITU-D), drafting standards on the subject to assist policymakers and regulators.

The new Rapporteur Group on “Relevant market definition and identification of operators with significant market power” will survey the global ICT market for significant market power or other forms of market dominance. The group will collect relevant data and information on regulatory best practices from ITU-D, Member States and other entities, including ITU’s industry members. Working to identify regulatory asymmetries, its ultimate goal is to recommend special measures to guarantee transparency and fair competition in relevant markets.

SG3’s meeting also approved the Terms of Reference of its Regional Groups for Africa, the Arab Region and Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional Groups coordinate regional contributions to the standardization work of ITU-T Study Groups and they are of particular benefit to SG3, a group that develops international as well as region-specific standards.

Find more information on ITU-T Study Group 3 here, or watch a video introduction here.

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