Review of the current ICT ecosystem of a Middle Eastern country and advisory to the sector regulatory authority on the content and structure of the next generation telecoms law

Project executed on behalf of Middle Eastern ICT Sector Regulatory Authority

Project Objective

It is an undeniable fact that since the first decade of the 21st century, the telecommunications industry face challenges in adapting to and servicing consumer and business needs in the light of evolving and efficient technologies and new means of communication that broadband is bringing. Similarly, it is a challenge for state authorities to sustain a fine balance between the promotion of infrastructure investments, competition, and consumer protection. It is even a bigger challenge nowadays to determine what are the borders of the telecoms industry and how far national authorities should seek to control within their mandate.

Axon was commissioned by the authority in charge of a prominent Middle Eastern jurisdiction precisely for the above reasons; to provide expert opinion on how to tackle the above matters within the domain of a future legal framework. In simpler words, the Project sought to identify a future-proof and workable content for a revised telecoms law that could be drafted in the future.

Project Description

During the assignment Axon followed a structured approach, initially by identifying the main domains that a possible future telecoms law should address. Examples of such domains could be cited as licensing, definition of telco services, licensing, OTT, data protection, consumer protection and other. For each domain a detailed benchmark was carried on, evaluating the practices followed in relevant other jurisdictions, and the current and the desired future state in the client’s jurisdiction were also considered.

Gaps and possible actions were discussed with the client, and final recommendations were provided.

Key Takeaways

The project provided the client with a widely scoped, detailed and comparative overview of current regulatory trends across the whole regulatory spectrum in the sector. It involved several in situ meetings with the regulator’s project team and other services, as well as interviews with stakeholders.

Beyond a thorough revisit of well-established areas of telecoms regulation, Axon also dedicated significant attention and extensive discussions with the client to the role of OTTs in the evolving digital landscape, and practical mechanisms for a closer coordination between telecoms, competition and data protection authorities.