As part of its assignments, ICP-ANACOM conducts market inspection actions. It does so following an annual schedule, seeking to take action in areas that may reveal failures of functioning or with regard to other aspects deemed critical; and according to complaints received which indicate irregularities that warrant verification. In 2011, investigations were conducted in various areas: electronic communications, postal sector, message-based value added services, equipment and other areas.
Graph 57. Inspections undertaken in 2011
- 6.3.1. Electronic communications
- 6.3.2. Postal services
- 6.3.3. ITED and ITUR
- 6.3.4. Equipment market
- 6.3.5. Monitoring and control of the spectrum (MCE)
6.3.1. Electronic communications
Actions focusing on the electronic communications sector were performed in order to verify compliance by authorised entities with the obligations set forth pursuant to the titles authorising exercise of activity and pursuant to applicable legislation. Such actions were taken with a view to preventing situations which might potentially distort the normal functioning of markets, and also with a view to finding solutions that might lead to the settlement of disputes between operators and/or between operators and consumers.
Alongside these actions, ICP-ANACOM continued to control the exercise of activity and provision of services by entities that lack authorising title duly issued by ICP-ANACOM for this purpose.
In the communications market, ICP-ANACOM's inspection activities involved 667 operations covering a relatively mass services market.
The set of measures executed, include:
- 21 inspections related to compliance with Decree-Law no. 177/99 of 21 May (as amended by Decree-Law no. 63/2009 of 10 March). These inspections were conducted to verify compliance by providers of SMS and MMS-based value added services covering both subscription procedures and the fulfilment of requests by the support operators to bar access to such services (aspects that most frequently give rise to complaints sent to this Authority). Various occurrences of non-compliance were found, determining the instigation of various breach proceedings;
- 230 investigations of irregular number portability situations. Portability remained a focus of ICP-ANACOM's activities in 2011. These investigations covered MTS and FTS providers and sought to detect irregularities in the respective portability processes, in particular, in practices followed by the operators in providing information to consumers; as such ICP-ANACOM sought to verify compliance with the deadlines set out in the Regulamento da Portabilidade (Portability Regulation - Regulation no. 58/2005 of 18 August) and examine the reasons given for refusing to carry out number portability. Processes in this area were also forwarded to litigation, culminating in the instigation of breach proceedings;
- 18 investigations regarding compliance with ICP-ANACOM Determination of 16 May 2002, whereby it was stipulated that all telecommunications operators/service providers that offer the voice mail service are required to provide the caller with a period of five second after the beginning of the service message, where no charge is made, so that callers have time to decide whether to use the function or not. No irregular situations were detected;
- 33 inspections in PTC ducts, in the context of overseeing the RDAO, with the aim of assessing the correctness of indicative information on the occupation of ducts made available in the duct database (RDAO Extranet) through a colour system based on four levels of occupancy. In addition to verifying occupancy levels, on-the-ground checks were conducted during these inspections on duct profiles and the correspondence of these profiles to the information available in the database. Detected situations of non-compliance were forwarded to litigation;
- eight inspections focused on the offer of the public pay-telephone service in commercial establishments open to the public; no breaches of the provisions of Law no. 5/2004 of 10 February were detected;
- 10 inspections to verify compliance with obligations under Decree-Law no. 134/2009 of 2 June, concerning the functioning of call centres, focusing on answering times, the provision of menus and on information provided to the user. In light of the non-compliant situations detected, eight cases were referred to litigation;
- 21 investigations related to Decree-Law no. 56/2010 of 1 June on the unblocking of terminal equipment, resulting in litigation citations;
- 155 inspections regarding compliance with the rules set out in Decree-Law no. 156/2005 of 15 September, as amended by Decree-Law no. 371/2007 of 6 November (Complaint Books), with detected irregular situations referred to litigation;
- 123 inspections related to DTT, focusing on the sale of decoders, the provision of information on the implementation of the service and competitive promotions conducted by companies that distribute television signals by cable;
- 48 different investigations stemming from complaints received by ICP-ANACOM.
6.3.2. Postal services
Aiming to ensure compliance with the activity licences of service providers and, at an operational level, respond to requests for intervention that may arise as a result of consumer complaints, four investigations were carried out in the postal services market. These investigations sought to check the activities pursued by other such companies, whereby it was concluded that there were situations where the activity of postal service provider was being exercised without authorising title; after drawing up the relevant official reports, these cases were referred to litigation.
An investigation was also carried out focusing on postal agencies whose operation has been conceded by CTT to various entities. As such, during 4th quarter 2011, 12 agencies were inspected, and inspections will continue across the national territory through 2012.
6.3.3. Infra-estruturas de Telecomunicações em Edifícios (ITED) (Telecommunications Infrastructure in Buildings) and Infra-estruturas de Telecomunicações em Urbanizações (ITUR) (Telecommunications Infrastructure in Housing Developments, Urban Settlements and Concentrations of Buildings)
With regard to telecommunications infrastructure in building and in housing developments, urban settlements and concentrations of buildings, 571 inspections were carried out in 2011, comprising 534 infrastructure inspections and 37 documentary inspections. As a result 157 cases of non-compliance were detected (in relation to the respective project and applicable technical standards or in the project in respect of applicable technical standards) along with 259 situations of administrative non-compliance.
These inspections were carried out to ensure that the activities of market agents were in compliance with the prevailing legal framework.
14 investigations were also undertaken with respect to ITED/ITUR training entities.
Under the ITED legal regime1, the conformity of telecommunications infrastructure in buildings is the responsibility of the designers, during the project phase, and of the installers, in terms of execution. As such, declarations of responsibility must be issued and delivered to the site owners and to ICP-ANACOM, in accordance with the obligations provided for above.
Through its knowledge of the declarations of the responsibility provided by ITED designers and installers, ICP-ANACOM is able, beyond the proper performance of its inspection activities, to carry out effective verification of the technical and legal regime, ensuring the quality of telecommunications infrastructure in buildings.
In this respect, ICP-ANACOM engaged in a set of actions in 2011 with more than 40 Municipal Councils, enabling the compilation of a range of documentary evidence enabling the cross-checking of data. As a consequence, 139 inspections were carried out (based on this data), with evidence found of non-compliance with the obligation to deliver declarations of responsibility to ICP-ANACOM.
With regard to ITUR inspection activities, 68 documentary analyses were performed, in order to verify compliance of the respective ITUR projects with the applicable technical rules (ITUR manual) and of other documentation associated with the issuance of the respective declarations of responsibility.
Within the scope of ICP-ANACOM's collaboration with Municipal Councils, two seminars were held, aimed at council technical staff and with the aim of promoting debate and clarifying issues related to the legal and technical regime governing ITED/ITUR, the implementation of DTT and the CIS.
Meanwhile, ICP-ANACOM provided clarifications and responded to 410 requests for information, entailing various technical and legal analyses.
6.3.4. Equipment market
ICP-ANACOM has been granted powers to enforce compliance with Decree-Law no. 192/2000 of 18 August, which establishes the regime governing the free circulation, placing on the market, and putting into service in Portuguese territory of radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment. The following types of equipment are covered: (i) radio equipment using radio spectrum frequencies, containing a transmitter and/or a receiver2; and (ii) telecommunications terminal equipment which, through an interface, is connected to the public telecommunications network (public GSM networks, analogue or digital telephone networks and data networks) 3.
Equipment market inspections involve three procedures to assess conformity of equipment placed on the market:
- procedure 1 - direct inspection actions (on-the-spot, using catalogues and online) involving economic agents (distributors, importers, traders), to verify requirements and detect those responsible for placing equipment on the market;
- procedure 2 - market monitoring, using laboratory tests (conducted in ICP-ANACOM's laboratories), and analysis of technical documentation to verify equipment conformity;
- procedure 3 - market monitoring, through the analysis of technical documentation to verify equipment conformity.
Among the direct inspections conducted of economic agents (distributors, importers, retailers) – procedure 1, 178 inspections were performed in 2011, with 342 devices inspected, 178 devices seized and sent 129 cases referred to litigation.
Under procedures 2 and 3, 103 cases were opened, 219 completed (including previous cases carried over to 2011) and 64 devices tested.
As a result of these inspections and subsequent laboratory and technical documentation analysis, a total of 201 cases were referred to litigation as a result of detected non-conformities.
There is also the specific case of radio equipment using frequency bands whose use is not harmonised throughout the EU. The manufacturer, their importer or legal representative are now required to notify ICP-ANACOM four weeks before placing such equipment on the market, in accordance with article 9 of Decree-Law no. 192/2000 of 18 August. This notification is always reviewed by this Authority. Failure to comply with ICP-ANACOM's directions with regard to these devices can lead to a restriction on their entry into service. In addition, the restrictions stipulated to those responsible for placing the equipment on the market must be reflected in the information provided to the equipment's users. In 2011, 743 notifications were made under article 9 and 6, paragraph 4 of Directive no. 99/5 (R&TTE), 75 communications were found to be incorrect and responses/analyses were received to 27 notifications.
Also during 2011, and following requests for information in the context of R&TTE from representatives of equipment manufacturers or other undertakings responsible for placing equipment on the market, 11 requests for information were concluded which, in most cases, entailed technical analysis.
188.8.131.52. Laboratory activities
Related to the performance of its inspection activities, ICP-ANACOM has an important laboratory activity, supporting its oversight of the equipment market and actions to inspect the market and industry.
The Laboratório de Ensaios e Calibração (LEC) (Testing and Calibration Laboratory) obtained Flexible Accreditation in April 2011 to perform testing. This is the first such accreditation granted by Instituto Português de Acreditação (IPAC) (Portuguese Institute of Accreditation) in Portugal's electric sector. Flexible accreditation means that the list of accredited tests can be managed with more agility, which is essential in the current, fast-moving technological scenario, with constant changes in standardized test methods that have to be implemented in the area of radio testing and electromagnetic compatibility.
The LEC was involved in a bilateral comparison with the English laboratory RFI Global Services Ltd. in the areas of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio (RAD). This was undertaken pursuant to the requirement imposed under standard NP EN IEC/ISO 17025 (participation in inter-laboratory comparison programmes).
To this end, the following samples were tested to verify the essential requirements of the R&TTE Directive: a DECT phone and a cordless phone to check conformity as regards EMC requirements, and a MTS transmitter/receiver to assess radio requirements.
The results obtained in the two laboratories were practically identical, demonstrating a high level of reproducibility in the methods used.
The main actions undertaken to provide technical support in the market for radio and telecommunications terminal equipment, as well as the work carried out in the LEC, are outlined below.
- Technical support with respect to radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
During 2011, testing was performed on radio and telecommunications terminal equipment covered by Decree-Law no. 192/2000 of 18 August for the purposes of market oversight and for the issue of technical opinions in the context of legal proceedings.
Market and industry controls were also performed, through the verification of the essential electromagnetic compatibility requirement in electronic communications equipment covered by Decree-Law no. 325/2007 of 28 September, with opinions also issued in this area in support of legal proceedings.
As regards power line communication (PLC) technology, technical verification of equipment was performed in the laboratory and on-site.
- Radio Testing Area (RAD)
In providing oversight of the radio equipment market (R&TTE), 198 radio devices were tested with different applications, 118 taking place in the context of market investigations, 79 referring to investigations into the use of radio spectrum and one expert opinion on radiocommunications equipment, provided upon the request of judicial/police authorities.
Studies and tests were continued, with an expansion of the number of characteristics which can be subjected to laboratory verification.
In cooperation with the Spectrum planning and engineering department, involving a student from Instituto Superior Técnico (Higher Technical Institute), the following activities were initiated:
- identification/description of the spectrum mask of digital and analogue SMT-RP equipment;
- determination of the theoretical sensitivity of the receivers of such equipment;
- determination/verification of interference effects in order to ensure compatibility between analogue/digital equipment.
- Electromagnetic compatibility test area (EMC)
142 devices were tested during the year, including 111 for the purpose of market inspections in the context of R&TTE and 31 at the request of external agencies.
Meanwhile, a study was conducted on the digital dividend, based on tests for evaluating the performance of different coaxial cable structures in the presence of broadband radiocommunication systems, in particular Long term evolution (LTE). These tests reveal immunity shortcomings in certain cabling types directly related to the efficiency/quality of their shields.
- Calibration Area (CAL)
Accomplishing ICP-ANACOM equipment calibration plans, 238 measuring equipment calibrations were performed in 2011. Meanwhile 44 equipment calibrations were performed for external clients, representing a decrease of 27.3 percent in the number of calibrated units compared to 2010.
The accreditation granted by IPAC according to NP EN ISO/IEC 17025 was maintained for performing electric and frequency calibrations, and the laboratory's accreditation was extended to cover reflection coefficient calibration and attenuation calibration.
6.3.5. Monitoring and control of the spectrum (MCE)
ICP-ANACOM undertook preventative and reactive investigations with respect to its frequency management activity.
The preventive component entails verification of compliance with the regulations associated with spectrum management, seeking verification of the operating conditions of radiocommunications networks and stations and compiling information on the ground to assist the activities of spectrum planning and the licensing of radiocommunications networks and stations. Investigations carried out in this area resulted in around 64 percent of the 58 cases being referred to litigation, leading to the instigation of breach proceedings.
The remaining cases that were referred to litigation originate from ICP-ANACOM's reactive activities, which always stem from external requests.
Of a total of 1,152 external requests, 385 were related to interference and culminated with the issue of technical amendment orders to restore normal conditions.
Of the remaining 767, about 34 per cent were related to inspections focusing on radio stations and networks with around 36 percent of these cases referred to litigation.
The following table shows details of ICP-ANACOM's reactive activity, as developed in the mainland Portugal in 2011.
1,152 processes (100%)
385 cases of interference (33%)
170 cases of interference. Television broadcasting service- television reception (44%)
77 cases of interference. Aeronautical mobile service (20%)
50 cases of interference. Amateur service and amateur-satellite service (13%)
35 cases of interference. Public land mobile and trunking - public operators (9%)
26 cases of interference. Private network service and CB CB (7%)
10 cases of interference. License exemptions (3%)
8 cases of interference. Radio broadcasting service (2%)
9 cases of interference. Other services (2%)
767 Other requests (67%)
258 Direct inspections of radiocommunications stations and networks (34%)
191 Requests for cooperation from other national and international bodies (25%)
134 Cooperation requests international - counterpart authorities (70%)
57 Requests for cooperation from national entities (PSP, GNR, ERC...) (30%)
81 Complaints about non-ionizing radiation (11%)
53 Inspections at special, short-duration events (sports, entertainment, national and international) (7%)
43 Requests for studies and analysis of levels of coverage of radiocommunications networks (6%)
141 Actions in response to other requests related to the activity (18%)
ICP-ANACOM was called on to resolve 385 cases of interference, with 44 percent related to difficulties involving digital and analogue television signal reception.
During 2011, ICP-ANACOM received 77 interference processes regarding communications of the aeronautical mobile service, making up 20 percent of all interference situations reported, which called for maximum priority.
ICP-ANACOM also resolved around 35 situations of interference affecting the networks of public MTS and mobile trunking operators. Such situations are particularly important due to their impact on the economic activity and life of ordinary citizens (given the high rate of penetration across Portuguese society).
Institutional representation and representation of Portugal internationally (all related to the use of radio spectrum) comprised: (i) 134 cases of cooperation with ICP-ANACOM's international counterparts; and (ii) 57 cases of cooperation with national agencies, e.g. PSP, GNR and ERC.
ICP-ANACOM also conducted monitoring, on a regular basis, at entertainment, sports and/or official short-duration events, which is an activity that has significant bearing on the regulator's international image. In addition to the main objective of ensuring that the communications of licensed users do not suffer interference problems (which significantly decreases demands on ICP-ANACOM's reactive activity in this regard), this type of activity has resulted in a very significant increase in "temporary" licensing granted by ICP-ANACOM.
Until the end of 2011, the monitoring and control of the spectrum department also received 1,544 enquiries related to non-ionizing radiation, calling for analysis of specific situations. 1,527 cases were concluded (involving analyses at 236 educational establishments), many of which involved on-site measurements.
The results point to values which are at least 50 times lower than the reference levels of power density stipulated in Administrative Rule no. 1421/2004 of 23 November. 54 situations were found which did not, at the outset, guarantee levels 50 times lower than the reference levels. However, in all cases, compliance of the reference levels was guaranteed. All the persons or entities requesting evaluations were informed of the respective findings.
1 Decree-Law no. 123/2009 of 21 May, as amended by Decree-Law no. 258/2009 of 25 September.
2 This applies, for example, to mobile phones (GSM), satellite terminals, citizens band equipment, maritime band phones, cordless phones, short-range devices (Bluetooth applications, remote controls, wireless alarms, devices for opening garage doors, wireless networks and remote control toys).
3 Examples include telephones, answering machines, modems and GSM equipment (simultaneously radio equipment).