LISBON Oct 19 Vodafone expects the European
Commission to force Portuguese authorities to open access to
Altice's fibre optic network to rivals, which should
boost competition in the telecoms sector, the head of Vodafone's
Portuguese unit said.
Altice now owns MEO, the country's largest pay-TV and
broadband Internet provider which used to belong to the
country's former monopoly Portugal Telecom.
The European Commission in July opened a probe into a
preliminary decision by the Portuguese telecommunications market
regulator ANACOM not to force MEO to allow other operators such
as NOS and Vodafone Portugal to use its fibre optic
The Commission's ruling is expected at the end of this
Vodafone Portugal CEO Mario Vaz told Reuters that recent
criticism of the current access scheme by the Body of European
Regulators for Electronic Communications was similar to doubts
expressed by the Commission and Vodafone's own arguments, which
gave grounds for hope that the final decision will open up
"We expect a positive result for Portugal," he said.
"We are looking forward to the result of the investigation
opened by the European Commission ... which would create
incentives for co-investment and more competition in
non-competitive areas of the country."
"Vodafone has always defended a co-investment model for the
new-generation fixed networks and led the process to develop
agreements to that effect," Vaz said, adding that the current
scheme left clients in many areas with a worse service, limited
offer and higher bills than in other, more saturated parts.
(Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khalip;
Editing by Adrian Croft)