Communications play an important role in the Maltese economy which is why the Government has implemented a national strategy in order to help the development of this industry. Among its most important branches are telecommunications and technology. The main laws governing technology and telecommunications in Malta are the Electronic Communications Act and the Electronic Communications Networks and Services Regulations comprised in the Civil Law. The two laws were last amended in 1998.
Telecom companies in Malta are supervised by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA). However, the MCA does not supervise the content released by these companies. The supervision of broadcasting services falls under the regulation of the Malta Broadcasting Authority.
Licensing of companies under the Maltese Telecom Law
According to the legislation on technology and telecom, Maltese companies are allowed to install and operate different types of telecommunication equipment. A company providing communication services is also required to apply for a general authorization. The licenses are granted by the MCA based on a national spectrum plan. The license will allow the company to use one or more radio frequencies under certain conditions. Telecom licenses are granted for a five-year period and can be renewed.
It is also important to know that the telecom market in Malta was liberalized, therefore operators cannot have exclusivity over a certain share of the market.
Services that can be supplied under the Malta Electronic Communications Act
The Maltese legislation on technology and telecommunications allows providers to supply the following services:
- – television programs,
- – radio broadcasting services,
- – radio programs via wire, air or satellite,
- – information services via electronic means.
Telecom companies have the obligation of providing landline telephone services to all Maltese residents under the Universal Service Operator regulations. All companies, no matter the services they provide, are required to have written contracts with their customers for the services they supply, respectively receive.
If you want to open a telecom company and need legal assistance, you can contact our law firm in Malta.