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Marko Jović, President Of The Telecommunications & IT Committee of The FIC

Liberalising Access To Fixed Infrastructure Is Key To Economic Growth

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We expect the state to provide clear guidelines for the joint use of existing fixed telecommunication infrastructure, thereby freeing up this sector’s enormous development potential

Sectors with high added value, such as telecommunications and information technology, demand extremely high investment. These sectors are regulated to a significant extent by the state, which is why it’s important that the state takes into account predictability and legal certainty in the process of regulating them. This is a basic precondition for attracting FDI and raising the overall level of investment in Serbia.

Accordingly, operators’ investments are conditioned directly by the regulatory framework that determines the future direction of the industry’s further development.

The electronic communications sector is particularly important due to the fact that it forms the basis for the development of modern technological solutions that represent the foundations of the country’s digital economy.

Other countries’ experiences show that the application of modern technologies, and in this regard the provision of fixed high-speed networks, leads to progress in all areas of the economy and contributes to increasing productivity, automating business processes and enabling faster and more efficient communication. This further results in increasing competitiveness, which encompasses the entire process and leads to the transformation of the market as a whole.

The full implementation of electronic solutions and applications that exist on the market in various spheres also requires an appropriate legislative framework that is capable of coping with all challenges of the digital environment

The main preconditions for development in terms of access to infrastructure relate to measures of the state that would lead to the advancement of the regulatory framework when it comes to building and accessing fixed infrastructure in Serbia.

It is necessary to enable the joint use of existing infrastructure, thus ensuring its maximum utilisation. The infrastructure currently owned by public companies represents enormous potential. The private sector’s expectations are that the state will suggest and adopt a specific model for its use by all interested parties.

Although certain efforts have been exerted to launch this process and that certain activities in this regard have been launched, we still don’t have clear guidelines on the direction in which the state will regulate this domain.

Electronic services generally contribute to the eradication of unnecessary bureaucracy, but the most important electronic solutions are certainly those relating to the relationship between the state and its citizens. In this sense, e-governance services, such as e-government, e-health and similar solutions, contribute in particular to eradicating unnecessary bureaucracy and corruption.

Our country is exerting significant efforts to introduce and implement electronic solutions, and today there is virtually no branch of the economy that doesn’t already – to some extent – apply or work on the application of electronic solutions.

When it comes to electronic communications, RATEL began implementing the e-license system in September 2017 and received great support from operators due to bureaucracy being greatly reduced and the actual process is simplified and accelerated.

However, it should be considered that the full implementation of electronic solutions and applications that exist on the market in various spheres – from an entertainment character, via product and service purchases, to those applications that relate to state services, such as vehicle registration – also requires an appropriate legislative framework that is capable of coping with all challenges of the digital environment.