OTE head says telecoms watchdog raising hurdles to its operations

OTE chairman and CEO Mihalis Tsamaz strongly criticized the operations of the National Commission of Telecommunications and Post (EETT) and said its policy did not help healthy competition but discouraged investors, raised hurdles to the Group’s investments and harmed both the country and its citizens.

“It’s not EETT’s business to determine OTE’s commercial policy. I refuse to deliver the keys of OTE to the Commission,” Tsamaz said, adding that “consumers should know that OTE wants to offer cheaper prices, but EETT will not let us” do it.

He said EETT faced bureaucracy problems, it was adopting an old evaluation model, while its procedures in approving packages and promotional actions designed to benefit consumers were time-consuming. “I have the impression that EETT was creating bureaucracy to justify their operation,” Tsamaz said, adding that the average time of approval was four months, while competition was able to offer any package it wanted at any time. “What we ask for is fair and transparent regulation for all,” he added, noting that a Christmas offer promoted by OTE was in danger of being approved in Easter 2018 because of the Commission’s delays.

Tsamaz also criticized OTE’s competitors saying “they advertise technology and fiber optics on OTE’s shoulders”, adding however that OTE was by far the largest investor in the telecommunications sector, with investments totaling 3.5 billion euros in the period 2011-2020. He announced that OTE will offer 4G technology throughout Greece in 2018 and begin offering 5G technology in Athens and Thessaloniki as of 2020.