Key Topics for the interview
· Key strategic guidelines for attaining the objective of further technological advancement and encouraging competition with the Cypriot telecommunication sector.
· Evaluation of achievements in Cyprus telecommunications policy during 2006 and key objectives and challenges to address in 2007
· Vision on Russia as a strategic partner for investment and development in Cyprus telecommunication Sector
We are very proud in Cyprus for succeeding in maintaining an excellent telecommunication infrastructure. The fixed and mobile infrastructures are constantly being upgraded and developed to ensure that coverage and quality are optimized. According to Leaders Magazine, Cyprus ranks third in the world in terms of modern telecommunications facilities. Beside this, Cyprus utilizes successfully its strategic location, since it is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, through its excellent satellite and submarine cable infrastructure.
Moreover the electronic communications environment in Cyprus is fully liberalized and fully harmonized with the regulatory framework of the European Union. Competition is nowadays a reality, there is a second mobile operator (GSM/UMTS) providing services, various broadband and multimedia services are available, and private companies are activated in the field of fixed and international telephony. Further measures are considered in the framework of EU plans to boost competition among telecom operators and to build a single market for electronic communication services. Specifically, we are taking steps to remove all unnecessary regulatory restrictions in order to facilitate investment, support entrepreneurial initiatives and encourage innovation in all types of infrastructure and services. We seek to provide a complete range of services so as to further enhance the reputation of Cyprus as a centre of excellence for e-commerce and telecommunications.
Furthermore special emphasis is being placed on the establishment of various broadband and multimedia services, which promise to be a dominant business activity in the next decade and facilitate the creation of high paying jobs, through the promotion of investments by local and international companies. Cyprus has developed a program for the introduction of new technologies and the establishment of an information society for all. For this purpose, in 2006 we started the process for authorizing wireless access systems (WAS) and terrestrial digital TV networks (DVB-T). We believe that, the integration of new technologies into the fabric of economic activity and the creation of the required climate, will enable the establishment of new businesses, offering high quality services at affordable prices.
The relationship between Cyprus and Russia goes back in and is already very strong, in the fields of imports, exports but also tourism. We would like to extent this relation and into matters concerning technology and communications. Russia is a pioneer in electronic communications and in the field of technology and we have a lot to gain by a possible cooperation between the two countries. We can take advantage of their expertise in the field of technology and electronic communications, especially now that we are trying to introduce emerging technologies into Cyprus. Also we would like to encourage Russian investors to get involved with the Cyprus telecommunication market. A possible investment by big Russian companies will be very beneficial for the telecom sector in Cyprus.
As it was mentioned above, special emphasis is being placed on the establishment of various broadband and multimedia services, which promise to be a dominant business activity in the next decade and facilitate the creation of high paying jobs, through the promotion of investments by local and international companies. International companies, including Russian investors, will have the opportunity to invest in emerging markets like wireless access systems (WAS) and digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) offering this way better and new services to the people of the wider region.
Furthermore since the electronic communication environment in Cyprus is fully liberalized all the telecom companies in the private and semi-governmental sector, have the right to cooperate with any foreign company they wish, including companies from Russia. The government encourages and supports any initiative that will lead to any cooperation between Cypriot and foreign companies and we are taking steps to remove all unnecessary regulatory restrictions in order to further facilitate investment and entrepreneurial initiatives in all types of infrastructure and services.