The Greek Licensing Process
The following summary of telecommunications authorization and licensing in Greece is adapted from: Decision No.: 207/3- Regulation on the Procedure and Conditions for General Authorizations, the full text of which is available at: http://www.eett.gr/eng_pages/telec/adeiodotisi/nomiko_plaisio/RegulationGeneralAuthorizations.pdf and Decision No: 207/2 (1)- Regulation on the Procedure and Conditions for Individual Licences, the full text of which is available at: http://www.eett.gr/eng_pages/telec/adeiodotisi/nomiko_plaisio/RegulationIndividualLicences.pdf.
General Authorizations and Individual Licences
“The provision of telecommunication services and/or establishment and operation of a telecommunication network is subject to [either] an Individual Licence [or a General Authorisation].”
Summary of General Authorisation Procedure
The Regulation on the Procedure and Conditions for General Authorizations provides that an application for a General Authorisation is to be filed with the Greek National Telecommunications and Post Commission (the “Regulator”) via a Registration Declaration.
In the Registration Declaration, the applicant declares its intent to commence one or more telecommunications activities, describes them, as outlined in an Annex to the Regulation, and applies for registration in the Telecommunications Service Registry.
If the Regulator determines that there is a need for further information about the intended Telecommunication Service, the applicant can be asked to wait up to four (4) weeks from the filing of the application before it commences provision of the Telecommunications Services. This delay and request for additional information must be outlined in a justified decision.
The Regulator must require further information from the applicant if:
· the applicant intends to provide a telecommunications activity which does not belong in any category specified in an Annex to the Regulation;
· if it is a novel telecommunications activity; or
· if there is a question as to whether the proposed telecommunications activity is subject to a General Authorization, an Individual License or a Simple Resale of Telecommunications Services.
The Regulator must provide a decision about the Registration Declaration that:
· confirms that the intended Telecommunications Services are subject to a General Authorization Regime and that the provision of these Services may commence immediately;
· allows the provision of the intended Telecommunications Services on the basis of temporary terms; or
· rejects the Registration Declaration and the provision of the intended Telecommunications Service provisionally on the basis of stated reasons, which are communicated to the applicant.
Summary of Individual Licence Procedure
The Regulation outlines two procedures in connection with the award of Individual Licences – an award of licences without limitation of their number and an award of licences with limitation of their number.
Procedure of Award of Individual Licences without Limitation of their Number
Under the Regulation on the Procedure and Conditions for Individual Licences, the Regulator is obliged to grant an Individual Licence within six weeks after a complete application has been filed if there is no reason (as outlined in the Regulation) for rejection.
Within fifteen (15) days from the filing of a complete application, the Regulator must ask for any necessary clarification regarding the checking of the conditions, which are outlined in the Regulation. It should be noted that the six week period for the granting of an Individual Licence may be extended up to four months, by way of a decision of the Regulator, when the use of frequency spectrum is required.
Procedure of Award of Individual Licences with a Limitation of their Number
The number of Individual Licences may be limited under Law No. 2867/2000 "Organisation and Operation of Telecommunications and Other Provisions" (the “Telecommunications Act”). In this case, the period for the award of an Individual Licence may be extended to eight (8) months in total from the publication of an invitation for tenders.
The Minister of Transport and Communications determines, through a Ministerial Decree, the type of award procedure for the issuance of Individual Licences when there is a limitation of their number. Under the Regulation on the Procedure and Conditions for Individual Licences, the Minister may choose from two award procedures: (i) an auction procedure or (ii) a “best bid” procedure. In both cases, the Regulator determines the following, among other things, in the Issues of Proclamation:
· the pre-selection procedure;
· the relevant product and geographical market for which radio frequencies shall be allocated or numbers assigned;
· the Individual Licence’s conditions; and
· the quantity/number of radio frequencies to be acquired by a bidder.
The Regulator must determine, in detail, the rules for the auction procedure or the rules of public tender, as the case may be, in an objective, comprehensive and non-discriminatory manner.