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SNR Launches WiMAX-Based Services  20-9-2005

The National Radiocommunications Company (SNR) started testing the WiMAX technology, which will enable operators to develop new services for the residential customers and companies, according to company sources. SNR’s first broadband services will be launched in Romania in 2006’s first trimester. In order to check the new technology in a normal traffic regime, the operator will set up six WiMAX base stations in Cluj, Timis and Suceava.

IT services market up 28.3 percent 5-9-2005

The top ten players achieved just less than 70 percent of market revenue, up from 60 percent in 2003, suggesting that the process of market consolidation continued in 2004.
The main factors behind the evolution are economic growth, large privatization deals, and vertical market development, according to the study. The Romanian IT services market is predicted to expand by an annual average of 16.8 percent over the next few years, eventually reaching $365.20 million in 2009.

Common action plan regarding the communications in emergency situations 19-8-2005

Today, The Secretary of State for Communications, Florin Bejan, convoked a meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Emergency Situations at the MCIT headquarters. Representatives of the Special Telecommunications Service, National Regulatory Authority for Communications, Romanian Intelligence Service, and of national communications operators: Mobifon (Connex), Orange România, Telemobil (Zapp), SN Radiocomunicaţii, Romtelecom and Poşta Română attended the meeting.

The Secretary of State, Florin Bejan asked the members of the Ministerial Committee for Emergency Situations to present action plans in case of disasters, according to the identified risk areas and the intervention equipment that they have at their disposal. These plans are going to be used for elaborating a common action plan that could be at the disposal of the authorities.

Simpler Authorisation Procedures for the Providers of Private Electronic Communications Networks and Services  3-8-2005

Since July 29, 2005, Law no.239/2005 on the amendment and completion of several normative acts in the field of communications has simplified the authorisation procedure for the persons who intend to provide private electronic communications networks or services using radio-electric frequencies. Now, these providers shall address directly the Inspectorate General for Communications and Information Technology in order to be granted the licence for the use of radio-electric frequencies, without notifying ANRC first. Following the issuance of a licence for the use of radio-electric frequencies, the providers may actually start providing private electronic communications networks or services.

Digital System Takes Radio And TV To Remote Areas 28-7-2005

The recently launched direct-to-home system could bring television and radio transmissions to over 600,000 people in Romania. Major players on the TV cable market are offering this new service, which caters for those living in isolated areas as well as demanding viewers, weekly Business Review reports in a feature article carried in its latest issue.

Binary fair to promote young ideas 19-7-2005

The 8th edition of BINARY - Software and Electronics Fair in Eastern Europe will take place between September 28th and 30th. The fair will gather representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Education and Research, and businessmen. It will host two contests: The Competition for National Awards and the e-Idea Contest. The event aims at promoting valuable ideas from pupils and students, in which Romanian IT companies could invest. 

Direct-to-home Max TV on air in Romania 6-7-2005

Digital Cable System launched last week Direct-To-Home (DTH) Max TV. The service is based on an agreement between DCS and Nordic Satellite AB to transmit the TV signal through satellite.

The company is the first of its kind to open an office in Romania, according to its officials. “We have already been part of Romania’s technological development process for five years. Our official presence in Romania will have a direct impact on the progress of the local market,” said Per Norman, general manager of Nordic Satellite AB.

Among the Romanian TV channels that have signed contracts with NSAB and are being transmitted through the Sirius 2 satellite are all the channels of Media Pro, Realitatea TV, Etno TV, Taraf TV, and TVKalumea. 

Online transactions up by a half this year 26-6-2005

The turnover of e-commerce this year is set to rise by 50 percent in Romania from last year, while the number of Romanians who use the internet is up by 20 percent, according to representatives of the Romanian IT industry.

The same sources estimate that by the end of this year online transactions will reach $80 million.
The data were presented during the Developing e-business trends in Romania and the European market conference held at Internetics.

Recent data suggest the best known types of e-business are e-shop, e-mail, e-procurement and e-auction. In 2004 $2 million was spent on online advertising. IT representatives say that e-business has high and rapidly increasing potential. A high proportion of e-business comes from B2C (business to consumer) commerce, which has more than two million potential consumers with a growth rate of 30 percent annually. 

Speeding ahead  16-6-2005

Richard Moat, CEO of Orange Romania, talks about the mobile operator’s key strategy for delivering high-speed data services to its subscribes. With announced investments of about $250 million in 2005, his company is ready to face the 
Is the recently announced re-launch of Cosmorom going to unleash a price war on the mobile telephony market?
Cosmorom has been dormant for some time, which is highly unusual, given that it is the mobile subsidiary of the fixed-wire incumbent. Normally, such a company is the dominant mobile market player. So it’s highly unusual to be back in fourth place. We have to take the re-launch and the re-branding of Cosmorom seriously because there are many examples of third or fourth entrances that have become very successful. Usually, third and fourth players entering a market have been more successful when penetration has been relatively low. This is not the case in Romania where penetration will probably reach 60 percent by the end of the year, and there are already very strong players on the market. Nevertheless, we have to take their arrival seriously. As regards a price war, I don’t want to speculate on what their strategy might be. To some degree the development of the market depends as much on what the two major players – Orange and Connex – decide to do, as on what Cosmorom decides to do. 

POSTelecom – a third way!? 6-5-2005

On July 17th 2002, Posta Romana announced its intentions to enter fixed telephony market via attracting a Chinese partner. The progress was not too rapid and on August 21st 2003, the documents aiming to establish a new telco - POSTelecom were signed in Beijing in the presence of state leaders and communications ministers. Today, after more than one year and half from Beijing event, POSTelecom remains a promise.  

Motorola Plans To Conquer 50% Of 3G Phone Market In Romania 26-4-2005

US mobile phone maker Motorola wants to become the top player on the local market in 2005 and hopes to be behind half the sales of third generation phones finding their way into Romanian pockets this year.

Motorola, which three years ago was around fifth or sixth on the market in Western Europe, has recently begun to focus on boosting sales on developed markets and has gained a foothold in Russia, which is a very large market.

Motorola has also successfully doubled its performance in terms of the number of units sold in Europe last year, with revenues three times higher than in 2003. "This makes it possible for us to take on the markets of Eastern Europe, and we see Romania as very important for us," explained Estell.

According to company representatives, the good results mean that the promotion budget for 2005 has doubled. Motorola is confident that 3G will be a success in Romania and for this reason officials from the company chose to present the latest phones that will become available on the local market. 

Orange To Help Managers Keep Track Of Staff  22-4-2005

As of this summer, it is highly likely managers will be able to track the whereabouts of their employees by using a new service currently in the preparations stage at Orange Romania.

The provisional name of the new service is "Monitoring", though this could change before the commercial launch of the service planned for June of this year, said George Soare, project manager with Orange.

>From the outset, the service will be available throughout the entire country and will allow managers to find out the approximate location of any of their employees. Managers will need only select an employee's number from a predefined list in order to view his or her position on a map that will appear on the computer screen. The service will be accurate to within 500 metres inside cities and 20-30 kilometres in the countryside. 

Microsoft: Romanian Software Market Set To Double 22-3-2005

The Romanian IT market will increase by 12% in 2005 compared with last year, according to officials from US software giant Microsoft, who quoted data from a recent survey by researcher IDC. The same survey shows that the software market will double in size by 2008.

The Romanian software market was worth 84 million dollars last year (68 million euros at the average annual exchange rate), and will amount to 134 million dollars (103.7 million euros) by 2008, says IDC. It is expected to reach 95 million dollars (73 million euros) in 2005.

Growth of the software market will also lead to an increase in the number of jobs in this sector, Microsoft officials say. Software specialists will account for around 43% of total IT sector employees in Romania in 2008. The Microsoft officials also talked about their presence in Romania, where they say relations with local partners "are going very well". 

Vodafone Buys Connex In Romania's Biggest Deal For 15 Years  16-3-2005

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile telephone company, has bought mobile telephone operator MobiFon-Connex in the biggest deal Romania has seen for 15 years. The total transaction will be worth 3.5bn dollars (2.6bn euros) and also includes the takeover of Czech operator Oskar Mobil from Canadian Telesystem International Wireless Group, the majority shareholder in the two operators. At the same time, the British operator will take on 950 million dollars of net debts.

The deal was made on Monday night, with Connex employees receiving e-mail notification of the news from Ted Lattimore, the company's president and COO. Officials from the two companies did not give any details as to the value of the two operators in the deal individually. However, analysts believe most of the money was paid for MobiFon, which has a market value of 2-3bn dollars (1.5-2.3bn euros). 

U.S. to keep monitoring software piracy in Romania  8-3-2005

The International Alliance for Intellectual Property (IIPA) will recommend that American authorities continue monitoring Romania regarding copyright protection, said Magda Popescu, a lawyer at the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Romania.
Among the reasons for monitoring, Popescu mentioned the inefficiency in enforcing the criminal law for software piracy and the low number of fines levied for these crimes.
The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) analyzes the efficiency of intellectual property rights protection in over 80 countries. Romania has been on the office's "Watch List," since 1999, together with other countries the USTR believes should be monitored.
Popescu said that if Romania remains on the list, the investment decisions of American software companies in Romania may be negatively influenced. "Before making a decision, an American investor in the software or other domains involving copyrights will check this report. What's written in this report might make him change his mind," Popescu explained. 

Romania Suffers From Software Divide  1-3-2005

The Romanian software and IT services industry is centred on Bucharest, where more than 60% of the total turnover is made, while Vaslui County is at the bottom of the list, with only 27 people employed in the IT sector, a survey by the National Association of Software and Services Industry (ANIS) shows.

The survey was based on data collected from financial statements from IT companies in 2003, data from the National Statistics Institute and data from ANIS members themselves. Romania is suffering from the "software divide" phenomenon, ANIS officials said, paraphrasing the expression "digital divide", which is used to describe the technological development gaps between nations. 

RomTelecom Returns To Profit After Cutting 5,700 Jobs 25-2-2005

Despite the negligible number of new phone lines installed and the drop in the amount of time spent by Romanians on their home phone, RomTelecom has nonetheless managed to report profits for last year. This can be explained by the aggressive efficiency improvement policy it has been pursuing, which saw 5,700 layoffs in 2004 with 50 million euros spent on severance pay.

RomTelecom's revenues for last year amounted to 839.1 million euros, an increase of 5%, with net income also increasing to 107.1 million euros, compared with the net losses of more than 13 million euros in 2003. Operating income went up 31% to 285 million euros.

The improved results were achieved despite the number of new phone lines installed increasing by a mere 0.2% to 4.3 million and the total volume of calls logged in the RomTelecom network dropping by 3%. RomTelecom is left with approximately 18,000 employees and is preparing a new strategy to take on its main rivals, the mobile telephone operators. 

RomTelecom Sale To Be Completed By End 2006  21-2-2005

The Romanian state’s 46 percent participation in the fixed-line operator RomTelecom is to be sold on the stock exchange market by end 2006. A first part of the shares will be sold this year or early next year the latest, according to the IT&C minister Zsolt Nagy. “We have talked to OTE, RomTelecom’s major shareholder, and we have decided on the sale deadline for end 2006”, Nagy said. As for the company’s mobile arm, Cosmorom, Nagy said a decision was to be taken with OTE. “Our plans are to relaunch this service as we need a third operator on the market. A decision is to be issued in several months”, Nagy said. 

Microsoft Romania Planning To Open More Offices  15-2-2005

Following the development of the lending system in Romania, Microsoft is now focusing on its idea of selling even its software in instalments, which would undoubtedly push the market higher. 
One of the concepts currently under discussion at Microsoft is the model for supplying software in the same way as services. Customers will be able to opt between monthly payments, as with normal post-paid phone bills, and advance payment, as with prepaid systems.
This would be complementary to the solution whereby the Windows platform or applications are acquired in instalments with the computers. When customers buy a computer in instalments, for several additional dollars per month they could have a complete and legal Windows system. This will boost the company's sales, says the Microsoft manager.
Mr Hotaran believes that 2005 will witness even higher growth for businesses in Romania and the Eastern European region. "In Romania, we will take the major, countrywide projects further, together with the domestic software industry," he explained. The company is trying to cover the geography of the country in a better way by opening offices in Transylvania, Moldova, Constanta, and the southern region. 

RomTelecom Slots ARTelecom 11-2-2005

RomTelecom has taken over by merger the Internet services provider ARTelecom. The merger decision was taken by the two companies shareholders at the beginning of November and became operational as of February 1 when ARtelecom was erased from the Trade Registry. The merger will not affect RomTelecom’s equity. All ARtelecom’s employees will be transferred to RomTelecom. ARtelecom was established in 2001 having RomTelecom as majority shareholder with more than 99 percent of the stake.

Softwin sets out BBC curriculum strategies 7-2-2005

Romanian IT firm Softwin has revealed that it wrote programs that passed through two difficult UK-based BBC education curriculum tests, being the sole foreign firm elected alongside 25 British firms to bid for a broader EUR 250 million, four-year program.
Mariuca Talpes, co-founder and division manager, and Sorin Guleac, e-Learning Product Manager, are now seeking business English teachers to help them design a new product. Building competitive education IT programs is centered on teachers from Romania and abroad that have helped it get this far.

Astral looks to buy more cable & data 26-1-2005

Reports that Astral Telecom has bought CableVision of Romania (CVR) for $8 million have been denied by Astral president Aurel Costea, who did however confirm to Business Review that Astral is looking at a number of companies and awaiting a minority stake to change hands.

Astral is looking to invest $12 million in its own network this year and will invest more into new networks if opportunities arise, president of Astral Telecom Aurel Costea told Business Review. A recent article in the local press reporting that Astral had bought the cable TV services provider CableVision of Romania (CVR) was denied by Costea, who refused to make further comment. The article reported that Romtelecom, which owns a 96 percent stake in CVR, sold the company for $8 million to Astral. 

Connex to start 3G in eight cities using Ericsson net 24-1-2005

Ericsson signed a framework agreement last week to supply local mobile operator Connex with equipment and services needed to roll out the first 3G network in Romania, a WCDMA one
The value of the deal was not disclosed, and Connex officials told Business Review that the exact date of the 3G launch cannot be disclosed either.
However, they said that Connex would have the first 3G service launched on the market. “The service will most probably launch in eight major cities, and tests have been already been made in Bucharest, Cluj, Brasov and Craiova,” Connex officials told BR. Under the agreement, Ericsson will deliver and implement 3G core and radio network equipment as well as system integration and optimization services, including multi-vendor integration. It will also provide competence development and technical support services for the supplied solutions. 

Portable Numbers As Of End 2006 20-1-2005

Changing the telephone company without necessarily changing the number will also become possible in Romania sometime next year. In a first phase, only fixed telephony numbers will be portable. Costs related to keeping the number upon moving to another service provider will be billed to the user. In Europe, costs range between EUR 10 and 31 for a fixed telephony number and between EUR 0 and 47 for a mobile number. One foreseeable problem is that a caller will no longer know which company services the number called, and this raises the matter of whether the respective call is within the caller's network or not.

Business Media Group - Business Review - BIZ - The Workbook - BR Daily 

Radiocomunicatii Invests Over EUR 32.5 Mln In 2004 17-1-2005

The Romanian Radio-communication National Corporation (Radiocomunicatii SA) invested 1,314 billion lei (some EUR 32.5 million) in 2004, 15 percent less than in 2003, when investment stood at 1,539 billion lei, Radiocomunicatii chairman Gabriel Grecu said. Over 2001-2004, Radiocomunicatii SA conducted a large scale program to modernize the national radio broadcasting networks, which included the FM relay network upgrade and expansion, for the broadcasting of the Romania Actualitati and Romania Cultural radio stations, launching the equipment upgrade program related to territorial units and the AM network which broadcasts the Romania Actualitati programs in the medium bandwidth.

Business Media Group - Business Review - BIZ - The Workbook - BR Daily

2485 companies have been authorised to provide electronic communications networks or services 20-12-2004

2485 companies have been authorised to provide electronic communications networks or services. At present, 561 companies have the right to provide data transmissions services, 669 – Internet access services, and 221 – professional mobile radio-communications services. Concerning the fixed-line telephony services, 144 companies may provide local calls, 150 – long distance calls, and 167 – international calls. Regarding the user connection method, among the companies providing Internet access services, 445 will use radio connection and 336 will use dial-up connection.  

Romania in top nations regarding IT&C consumption 09-12-2004

The total IT&C expenses in Romania have increased in the last 4 years by an average annual rate of 18.8 per cent, being estimated at USD 1.9 bln this year, according to a survey drafted by Global Insight for World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).
Among the total expenditures estimated for the period 2001-2004, those for IT are expected to grow by an average rate of 8.4 per cent, while those for communication by 22.3 per cent. Communications will attract, this year as well, the biggest share of the expenditures, meaning 79 per cent (USD 1.509 bln). 

IT company CG&GC signs PPP contract 06-12-2004

Wednesday, November 10, 2004, the Government Decision no.1872/2004 for the approval of the amendments to the 2004 income and expenditure budget of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications was published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no.1040. Based on this normative act, within the ANRC budget for the year 2004, the resources allotted for financing universal service are specifically itemised both in Chapter “Incomes” and in Chapter “Expenditures”. The amount of the universal service fund for 2004 is approximately EUR14.3 million, i.e. 0.8% from the turnover of the providers of electronic communications public networks and of the publicly available telephone services providers with a 2003 registered turnover exceeding or equal to EUR 3 million. The turnover registered by the respective providers was beforehand diminished by the incomes resulted from interconnection services and from roaming services offered on the wholesale market to the mobile telephony providers outside Romania for their users located in Romania.

New standards regarding the security of the informatics systems 24-11-2004

“The adoption at national level of the European and international recognised standards and the encouragement of their application creates the necessary framework for defining the IT security policies of the organisations. Moreover, this autumn the first national standard regarding the security of the informatics systems was adopted transposing the provisions of the ISO/IEC 17799 – “Information Technology” standard – Code of good practice for the management of the information security. The Romanian version is available at the National Standardisation Body in Romania (ASRO). By the end of this year MCTI will support the adoption of the first part of the ISO 15 408 standard, known as “Common Criteria for evaluating the systems’ and applications’ security”. Both standards are recognised in the European Council Resolutions, their implementation at organisational level being optional” stated today, November 12th 2004, Liviu Nicolescu, Director for Regulations and Standards in Information Technology, Antifraud and Networks Security, during the “Information Security Management – an instrument for the increase of competitiveness of Romanian companies in view of EU accession” seminar. 

The Financial Resources for the Universal Service Fund Have Been Established 11-11-2004

Wednesday, November 10, 2004, the Government Decision no.1872/2004 for the approval of the amendments to the 2004 income and expenditure budget of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications was published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no.1040. Based on this normative act, within the ANRC budget for the year 2004, the resources allotted for financing universal service are specifically itemised both in Chapter “Incomes” and in Chapter “Expenditures”. The amount of the universal service fund for 2004 is approximately EUR14.3 million, i.e. 0.8% from the turnover of the providers of electronic communications public networks and of the publicly available telephone services providers with a 2003 registered turnover exceeding or equal to EUR 3 million. The turnover registered by the respective providers was beforehand diminished by the incomes resulted from interconnection services and from roaming services offered on the wholesale market to the mobile telephony providers outside Romania for their users located in Romania. 

The Financial Resources for the Universal Service Fund Have Been Established 11-11-2004

Wednesday, November 10, 2004, the Government Decision no.1872/2004 for the approval of the amendments to the 2004 income and expenditure budget of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications was published in the Official Journal of Romania, Part I, no.1040. Based on this normative act, within the ANRC budget for the year 2004, the resources allotted for financing universal service are specifically itemised both in Chapter “Incomes” and in Chapter “Expenditures”. The amount of the universal service fund for 2004 is approximately EUR14.3 million, i.e. 0.8% from the turnover of the providers of electronic communications public networks and of the publicly available telephone services providers with a 2003 registered turnover exceeding or equal to EUR 3 million. The turnover registered by the respective providers was beforehand diminished by the incomes resulted from interconnection services and from roaming services offered on the wholesale market to the mobile telephony providers outside Romania for their users located in Romania. 

Online Company Registration 8-11-2004

The Trade Registry is planning to introduce the possibility of register a company online, according to Claudiu Seucan, state secretary in the justice ministry, who said the move comes as part of the government’s efforts to reduce the registration time for a company. The authorities recently said the registration period was cut from two weeks to just three days, a move accompanied by a tax cut by 60 percent but companies said it still took longer mainly due to the inappropriate behavior of the public servants. The initiative is still relying on the companies’ possibility to register their electronic signatures for which electronic certificates and specialized software are required, which is to make registration take even longer.

Source : BR Daily - Business Media Group

More than 4700 big Taxpayer Statements Posted Online through 30-10-2004

By the end of September 2004, by means of the online services available through the National Electronic System (, 428 big taxpayer companies in Bucharest posted online 1080 statements for the month of August, addressed to the Ministry of Public Finance, ANOFM, CNPAS, CNAS.  Presently, on there are over 160 forms, involving 465 public institutions and 7 on line services for companies which are available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

New Technology From Zapp 17-10-2004

Mobile telephony operator Zapp, the only company running the CDMA 450 system in Romania, has announced its wireless broadband technology EV-DO (EVolution Data Optimized) is now available nationwide.
Zapp is providing the EV-DO technology as part of its Zapp Internet Express service that can be used in Bucharest and all the county capitals of Romania, company officials said.
"We are now providing Internet access that is at least three times faster and three times cheaper than before," explained Miron Stratan, Zapp's EV-DO project manager.

Orange Romania Unleashes EDGE 17-10-2004

The competition among the main mobile telephony operators is becoming increasingly fiercer when it comes to high-speed wireless Internet access offers and to multimedia services for the mobile phone, as Orange has launched EDGE, a technology that allows for three times the speed of the traditional GPRS.
The technology is somewhere between the 2G telephony - mobile telephony services focusing on voice calls and the 3G telephony, which allows for high speed Internet access and video telephony.
"We chose to implement EDGE and not move directly to 3G for cautiousness reasons. The current stage of the telecommunications market in Romania favours this approach. There are 60,000 GPRS clients we hope will migrate to this new technology, " said Yves Gauthier, Orange's commercial director. The investments in the implementation of EDGE amounted to $12 million, and were to be recovered in the next three to four years, the Orange officials specified.

ARtelecom Might Be Integrated In RomTelecom 12-10-2004

Internet services provider ARtelecom could merge by absorption with RomTelecom, the operation being a first step in consolidating RomTelecom’s strategy on data transfers and Internet access, sources with ARtelecom were quoted as saying. ARtelecom was founded in June 2001 and communication services and solutions based on IP technology have been available since June 2002. The main shareholder is RomTelecom with over 99 percent of the share capital. The company’s infrastructure was developed by Intracom Bucharest and it is based on Cisco, HP, Sun Systems and MIND CTI equipment.

Government delays pulling the plug on Cosmorom 5-10-2004

OTE's failed mobile phone business in Romania has been piling up debt for the past three years with no end in sight. 
Before the summer vacation the former IT&C Minister Dan Nica promised a solution to this problem by September. However, neither OTE nor the IT&C Ministry has yet made a statement on this.
The mainstream take on the future of Cosmorom is that no decision will be made by December this year at the earliest when elections are over.
RomTelecom's management board has so far agreed to pay $24 million from the debt mountain Cosmorom has accrued in two years of loss making operations. Alpha Bank Romania was paid $10 million from a total overdue debt of $30 million. The remaining $20 million was rescheduled. In another deal, Romtelecom paid ING Bank Amsterdam $13.8 million from a debt account of $15 million. Back in January 2002, Romtelecom issued a corporate guarantee letter to ING Bank Amsterdam in effect taking over Cosmorom's debt.

Connex Ready To Launch 3G Services 3-10-2004

Mobile telephony operator Connex teamed up with Siemens and Ericsson for the first demonstration, on the Romanian market, of the videotelephony service based on 3G. The event took place at the end of last week.
"This is not jus a lab test," Ted Lattimore, Connex president and COO said before starting what he called "the first 3G video call in Romania." The call was made to an office from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCTI) building. Minister Adriana Ticau answered the phone and she talked with Ted Lattimore for almost 3 minutes.
The demonstration aimed to show that Connex' telephony network is ready for the transition to 3G services, company officials said. "We are determined to continue to develop practical ways for voice, image and videotelephony communication," Ted Lattimore stated.

Zapp Strikes Deal With Germanos 23-09-2004

Germanos, the largest telecom equipment retail chain on the Romanian market, is also to become a dealer for the products and services of Zapp, the mobile telephone operator that uses the CDMA 450 technology.
The agreement is part of Zapp's development strategy to concentrate its efforts on attracting individual customers, alongside its business clients that are chiefly interested in its data traffic services.
"We have 240,000 users at the moment and we hope to see this number grow significantly by the end of the year," said Cuneyt Turktan, president of the company's Board of Directors. Besides the addition of new subscribers, Zapp also confirmed its first half-year turnover to have exceeded $35 million. The company will rely on the end-of-year period to bring its turnover up to $80 million, as compared with $52 million in 2003. 

Richard Moat Takes Over As Orange Romania CEO 16-09-2004

The former head of Orange Denmark, British-born Richard Moat, has been appointed chief executive officer of the Romanian telephony operator following a meeting of Orange Romania's Board of Directors.
Richard Moat thus replaces Bernard Moscheni, who will run Orange's Belgium arm, Mobistar. Moat was at the helm of Orange's Danish branch, sold to TeliaSonera early in July 2004 for 600 million euros. He was also chief executive officer of TA Orange, the operator's branch in Thailand, between 2000-2002.

Romanian Cybercriminals Better Organised To Fight Authorities 14-09-2004

Cybercrime is like any other scam you pull in the real world," says Varujan Pambuccian, chairman of the IT&C Committee of the Chamber of Deputies. The damages caused by Romanian hackers worldwide amounted to an estimated 2 - 4 million dollars, according to officials with Romanian institutions specialising in fighting cybercrime.
The attacks from the Romanian "cybercriminals" have further implications beyond the financial realm, Varujan Pambuccian stated. "Two million dollars is not that much, but we have a lot to lose in terms of image." Numerous e-commerce websites have halted transactions to clients from Romania following several such attacks originating in this area. Still, the Romanian officials feel that many of those who commit such crimes are very far from being computer wizards.
"Seventy percent of the total electronic frauds committed by Romanians consist in precisely these scams," says Virgil Spiridon, head of the Cybercrime Unit of the Organised Crime Fighting and Anti-drug General Department. He explained that most cases were not complex operations, which would entail a lot of effort on the part of the perpetrators. "There are very few real hackers in Romania," Varujan Pambuccian stated.
The direction Internet fraud is taking is not in the least bit reassuring as far as the authorities are concerned. "The shift towards organised cybercrime is becoming increasingly obvious. Whereas we were dealing with lone criminals at first, we are now facing very well organised networks," says Ioana Albani, a prosecutor with the Cybercrime Unit of the Prosecutor's Office within the High Court of Justice and Cassation. She mentioned a recent case involving approximately 50 people as an example in this regard.

United States, Romanian Governments partner to combat cyber crime 9-09-2004

Romtelecom's new management has set itself the goal of turning the company into a modern European telco but that can only be done if the organization can put up with the pain of cutting payroll by thousands of USD and sacking entrenched management Romtelecom is carrying out a series of changes in top and middle management in order to increase efficiency. The country's fixed line operator has seen widespread changes within its management and more resignations may be pending. Cristian Nitu, technical director and former general manager of RomTelecom's Internet Service Providing arm ARTelecom, was recently replaced by Vasile Cazacu as a technical director. "Nitu was one of the best specialists Romtelecom had. Now the management belongs to mercenaries. The fact that the former financial manager Leonidas Skarlatos resigned proves that there may be problems in Romtelecom's books," said a former Romtelecom employee, who recently resigned over the lack of flexibility and communication among management.

Eastern Europe leads the way in digital 450 6-09-2004

Bucharest will this week host the get-together of the CDMA450 community in an attempt to build further momentum for the standard that competes with GSM globally. 
About a dozen companies from three continents will take part in the event. Qualcomm officials including Luigi Gasparollo, IT&C Ministry officials, Chris Bataillard, CEO of Inquam, UK, and other keynote speakers will attend the event. 
The history of CDMA450 revolves around the stories of the former analogue NMT operators that could not survive the better business model of their GSM competitors.
UK-based Inquam saw a window of opportunity and decided to back the very first venture of CDMA in Europe when it took over Romania's Telemobil. At first, Telemobil made quite a splash in advertising and promotion but achieved little in terms of market share and revenue.

United States, Romanian Governments partner to combat cyber crime 1-09-2004

Today the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched an Introductory Guide for the Implementation of Cyber Crime Legislation, funded by the U.S. Government through USAID.  The Guide, designed as a training tool for Romanian law enforcement authorities in charge of fighting cyber crime, is one among several results of a three-year collaboration among experts of the U.S. Embassy, the Ministry of Communications and IT, and the U.S.-based consulting organization InterNews.  U.S. Ambassador Dr. Jack Dyer Crouch II and Minister of Communications and IT Adriana Ticau presented opening remarks at the event, which was held at the Software Park Building in Galati.

Active Providers on the Telecommunications Liberalized Market 11-08-2004
In 2003, the first year since liberalisation, 1039 providers of publicly available electronic communications networks and services were registered following their first report on statistical data and declared to begin activity in 2003. Out of these, 20 providers gradually gave up the right to provide electronic communications networks and services, while 149 providers declared that they did not provide electronic communications networks and services in 2003. ANRC registered 870 active providers on the electronic communications market in 2003.
Among the providers of telephony services, 13 providers actually provided local call services, 11 providers had a functional offer on the market of long distance calls and 24 providers offered international call services. 
The Number of Subscriptions for Internet Services Doubled 11-08-2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004, during the press conference organised at the headquarters of the National Regulatory Authority for Communications, the President of ANRC, Ion Smeeianu, together with other representatives of ANRC, presented the evolution of the number of subscribers for the main types of electronic communications services between 2002 – 2003.
Thus, in this period, the main services provided by means of the public telephony networks registered an important rise, confirming the developing trend of the Romanian market of electronic communications. The mobile telephony market share increased considerably, by approximately 2 million subscribers, while the number of subscriptions for Internet services doubled within one year. 
ANRC Identifies, Together with the Industry, the Solutions for the Implementation of the Universal Service 22-07-2004
During the today meeting of the Consultative Council, ANRC held discussions with the representatives of the electronic communications industry about the means to implement the universal service by installing telecentres and public pay telephones. The industry comments and recommendations on the draft Decision on the principles and prerequisites of the reference offer for the unbundled access to the local loop, as well as the amendments to the decision for the approval of the Regulation on the identification of the relevant markets within the electronic communications sector were also debated. The consultation on the two draft decisions represents the last stage before the adoption of the documents and the implementation of the respective provisions. 
MCTI granted 2 experimental 3G licenses 21-07-2004
“Today we have granted the first two 3G experimental licenses with a view to testing the 3G technologies in Romania. These licenses will enable the two equipment producers who applied for them to test the infrastructure required by the 3G systems – radio stations and the afferent aerials.
The testing licenses will operate up to the date of issuance of the licenses for the coming 3G operators for Bucharest, Brasov, Craiova, Cluj-Napoca and the DN1 national road within the segment Bucharest - Braşov”, Adriana Ţicău, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, declared at the press conference held today, July 21, 2004, at MCTI headquarters.
In the first phase, the tests will focus on the voice and data transmissions, followed by experiments regarding film and TV watching on the mobile phone, as well as regarding videophone services.
Experimental licenses are cost-free and are exempt from the frequency spectrum fee. Ericsson şi Siemens, the holders of licenses, do not have the right to use them for commercial purposes, provision of services to third parties being forbidden over the testing license validity period. 
MCTI Puts Four 3G Licences Up For Auction 14-07-2004
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCTI) announced it would auction off four licences for the frequencies used by third generation (3G) mobile telephony today.
"The task specification handbook costs $20,000. Each winner of the auction will pay a $35 million tariff," said Dan Nica, who handed in his resignation from his position as Communications Minister last Saturday and is to transfer his duties to Adriana Ticau today.
The first tranche of the tariff, which stands at 10.5 million dollars, must be paid within 120 days from the date the licence was granted. The rest of the money will be paid in five equal annual instalments, worth $4.9 million, on January 30 each year from 2006 onwards.
Romania's EU Goals Could Conflict With Timisoara's 13-07-2004
Wall Street Journal Europe, the continental edition of the best known business newspaper in the world, last week published, in its Thursday edition, an article, on the first page, about the IT sector of Timisoara. Such articles are seldom published. In the second page of the same edition, the newspaper ran a column about the freedom of the press in Romania. Here is a summary of the article on the IT sector. In Timisoara, where the 1989 revolution that overthrew Romania's dictatorship began, dozens of young software engineers sit hunched over computers in a neighbourhood still covered with bullet holes inflicted by the communist army. The giant pig-processing plant that once dominated the local economy has been obscured by the high-technology factories of Alcatel SA, Siemens AG and Solectron Corp. 

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