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12-11-2021

The Seimas has approved the Law on Electronic Communications, which transposes the EU Electronic Communications Code, regulates the eSIM technology and reorganisation of the Communications Regulatory Authority

During the autumn session, the Seimas approved the drafts amending the Law on Electronic Communications (LEC) and other relevant legislative acts that will open new possibilities – the eSIM technology will accelerate the development of the Internet of Things and innovative communications services, while reorganisation of the Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT) will make it possible to attract experts of highest qualification and facilitate transparent and effective management of the market regulator.

The Law suggests systemic changes in the whole electronic communications market. First of all, the provisions of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council which establishes the European Electronic Communications Code will be transposed into the national law of Lithuania.

Transposing the Code will ensure enhanced protection of consumer rights and change the scope of universal services. There will no longer be an obligation to provide telephone services via public pay-telephones, but instead, an obligation to provide consumers with a possibility to use a minimum package of electronic communications services is established. Taking this into account, one of the main requirements for universal electronic communications services is to ensure that all consumers have affordable access to fixed Internet and voice communication services.

“The new Law will meet the characteristics of contemporary technologies and markets, a rapidly growing need for Internet services and rapid 5G network, it will also ensure more efficient legal regulation of the electronic communications market, service accessibility for consumers, sustainable competition, security, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of the users of electronic communications services,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

Once these amendments are implemented, Lithuania will become one of the first countries in the EU to regulate eSIM. This will enable more effective provision of electronic communications services. With this innovative technology, it will be possible to unlink all kinds of devices, including mobile phones, from SIM cards and there will be no need to replace the SIM card when changing the mobile operator.

The regulation of the eSIM innovation in Lithuania will facilitate the emergence of smart cities, development and application of the Internet of Things and 5G, it will also allow delivering more effective services in the sectors of logistics, transport, energy, financial services, environment, healthcare, etc.

Reorganisation of RRT initiated by the Law will allow to attract more professionals of this field and facilitate transparent and more effective management of the market regulator. The amendments to the LEC will increase the responsibilities of the RRT Council – instead of a single-person management model, the Authority will be managed collectively by the Council members, who would be selected by the Government in accordance with a competitive procedure and appointed by the President on a proposal from the Prime Minister. This way, it is expected to attract highly qualified specialists.