Robert Erzin, the director of Slovenian-backed telco IPKO has accused telecom watchdog the Regulatory Authority for Post and Electronic Communications (ARKEP) of protectionism in favour of state-owned telco Post and Telecommunication Kosovo (PTK) in an interview with Slovenian news portal Planet Siol.net. Of more pressing concern to the official, was the regulator’s zeal in keeping IPKO in line whilst neglecting to take measures against illegal operators. Commenting on Kosovo’s fixed market, Mr Erzin explained that competition was largely infrastructure-based stressing the need for IPKO to operate a network that is completely independent – except for interconnection – from those of PTK and its other rivals.
Moving on to the mobile segment, Mr Erzin went on to note that multiple SIM ownership is commonplace in Kosovo due to the large differences in price between on-net and off-net calling, a situation he said was exacerbated by the nation’s ongoing economic crisis making customers more price-sensitive. Indeed, the official added that mobile subscribers are almost exclusively pre-paid and top-ups are in small amounts, usually a single euro. On a more positive note, Mr Erzin was said that the outlook for the market was good, as Kosovo’s young population adapts quickly to technological innovations: ‘They have the latest phones, are permanent users of Facebook and other social networks and are up to date with all the applications that allow you to communicate.’