Developing regimes and mobile telecoms regulation in the twenty-first century: who makes the call?

Bruce Wardhaugh

Abstract


The growth of competition regulation in the twenty-first century will occur in those jurisdictions which at present do not have or are just developing their own competition regime. The experience of developed competition regimes in their choice of rule-making institutions, status of the rule in the jurisdiction's legal order, and the content of the competition rules can be useful for developing regimes in shaping their institutions.

This paper considers what lessons can be learned from these experiences. It uses the mobile telecommunications market as an example of a market which developing regimes must regulate wisely. This is due to the link between mobile telephony and economic development. But, as is also shown, if this market is poorly regulated, any benefits which may accrue to the consumer (or be beneficial to economic development) can be diverted to dominant or monopolistic entities.

The conclusion of the article is that any lesson learned from other jurisdictions must be taken with care. Competition rules are a product not just of their legal systems, and they are also products of the market for which they are designed to regulate. Hence transplantation must be done with care. But of perhaps greater significance is the need for independence of the regulatory agency.

 

Keywords: Telecommunications; Competition; Development; Sector Regulation; Competition Agency Design


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