Additional regulations needed for cellular phone businesses

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia's cellular telecommunication business needs additional rules to assure healthy competition, a committee member of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Body (BRTI) has said.

Bambang P. Adiwiyoto said in a workshop in Jakarta Tuesday that the cellular telecommunication business is regulated by Law No. 36/1999, regarding telecommunications, and the Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications' Decree No. 33/2004, regarding healthy competition in the telecommunication business.

"However, the ministerial decree only deals with competition in the provision of fixed-line telephones and basic phone services," Bambang said. "It doesn't regulate competition in cellular services."

He said BRTI had assigned the consulting company Cahaya Arif Abadi (CAA) to study proposals for new rules to ensure healthy competition in the mobile phone business.

Agus Maulana, a consultant at CAA, said a CAA study completed last November concluded the minister should issue an additional decree. This would include, among other things, detailed guidelines related to the definition of business dominance, the solution of disputes, complaint procedures and reporting requirements.

"We've also found that the [existing] decree does not define markets, market barriers and essential components such as network configuration and price discrimination," he said.

He added that the decree also fails to address unfair competition. Furthermore, it is silent on mergers, joint ventures and company acquisition.

Taufiq Rahman, a member of Commission for the Supervision of Business Competition (KPPU), said new regulation is not necessary because Regulation No. 36/1999 actually does ensure fair business competition.

"I think BRTI and CAA should see what's in the existing regulation related to the subject before proposing new ones. That way there won't be any duplication, which would only cause confusion," he said.

Agus Hulu of PT Indosat, the second largest cell phone operator in the country, said any sanctions in the proposal should be sensible and easy to enforce.

"For example, revoking an operator's license for violating rules is irrational and difficult to implement because it will affect public service," he said. (07)
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