Cyprus: Cyprus Chapter Of International Telecommunications Law


The legal system of Cyprus, modelled on the English Common Law system since independence in 1960, is harmonised with the acquis communautaire of the European Union (EU), and the fiscal and regulatory regimes of Cyprus are fully aligned with EU norms. The island is a signatory to a large number of international conventions and treaties, including an extensive network of more than 40 double-taxation treaties.

In Cyprus, telecommunications is an area that has developed rapidly over recent years and is undergoing many changes in its structure, both in terms of participation of more electronic communication providers in the market and modernisation of the services offered, with 4G soon to be available.

The original law governing the telecommunications sector in Cyprus was the Telecommunications Service Law1 that granted the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority the exclusive right to provide all telecommunication services in Cyprus. The EU regulatory framework was fully implemented in Cyprus by the enactment of the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Communications and Postal Services (the 'RECPS Law'). As a result of Cyprus joining the EU, relevant EU Directives have been implemented, including:

  • Directive 1999/5/EC, regarding radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity;
  • Directive 2002/19/EC, on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities;
  • Directive 2002/20/EC, on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services (the 'Authorisation Directive');
  • Directive 2002/21/EC, on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (the 'Framework Directive');
  • Directive 2002/22/EC, on universal service and users rights relating to electronic communications network and services (the 'Universal Service Directive'); and
  • Directive 2009/140/EC, on the new EU regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services.

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority is a semi-governmental organisation2 that offers its customers a complete range of telecommunications services adapted to market needs and uses the equipment, tools, and applications that modern technology offers. Its governing board comprises not more than seven members who serve for a five-year term and are appointed by the Council of Ministers.3 Section 12 of the Telecommunications Service Law sets out the functions that the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority must perform in order to comply with its obligations under the RECPS Law, to provide a universal service for consumers, and to ensure that it promotes the development of the telecommunications service in accordance with international practice and public demand.

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority has the power to issue regulations to control the telecommunications service in accordance with the provisions of the RECPS Law.4 The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority also has been declared as an organisation with significant market power in the following markets:

  • The voice telephony market;
  • The land public networks market;
  • The mobile telephony market;
  • The mobile telephony networks market;
  • The interconnection market; and
  • The leased lines market.

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority had enjoyed a monopoly on the Cyprus telecommunications market until the sector was liberalised in line with EU policy and requirements and private firms and companies were allowed to compete in the market. Further to public consultations and hearings, the Republic of Cyprus had undertaken all relevant necessary initiatives in order to complete the liberalisation process in the electronic communication sector and harmonisation with the acquis communautaire within the period of 2002 and 2003. The procedure was primarily instituted in Cyprus by the establishment of the Office of the Commissioner of Telecommunications and Postal Regulations (OCTPR) in 2002, pursuant to Law Number 19(I)/2002.

The essential goal and purpose was to conduct its obligations in Cyprus in connection with its accession to the EU in May 2004 and at the same time to create the prerequisites and conditions for the development and maintenance of healthy competition. The year 2003 was a milestone in the development of a competitive environment in the telecommunications sector in Cyprus, as it saw the entry of new companies providing telecommunications networks and services into the local market. Parallel to this, legislation was enacted in order to ensure full compliance and harmonisation with the applicable EU framework regarding telecommunications.

The RECPS Law lays down rules for the harmonisation of Cyprus law with EU law,5 and section 2(2)(c) of the RECPS Law clearly states that competition must be encouraged along with the elimination of the monopoly. In order to ensure competition, section 5 of the RECPS Law establishes a Commission and defines its obligations6 regarding supervision of service providers in order to monitor their compliance with the RECPS Law.

The Commission has its own separate legal personality and was established in 2002 under the initial 2002 legislation as the Office of the Commissioner of Telecommunications and Postal Regulation (OCTPR).7 The 2002 law was later repealed and replaced by the RECPS Law and the regulator was renamed the Office Regulation (OCECPR). The OCECPR is headed by the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Post8 who is appointed by the Council of Ministers for a period not exceeding six years upon consultation with the Parliamentary Committee for European Matters. The RECPS Law also provides for the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner and an Advisory Committee to support the Commissioner.

As the National Regulatory Authority in Cyprus, the OCECPR is responsible for the ex-ante regulation of electronic communication matters apart from spectrum management, which is regulated by the Department of Electronic Communication of the Ministry of Communication and Works. The RECPS Law in general determines the procedures for granting licences for electronic communication and post services to fulfil the government's plans. A good example is the award of a mobile telecom licence to Scancom, which traded under the trade mark of 'Areeba'.9 Since the RECPS Law was passed, competition has arisen among firms,10 but the 2004 Law ensures that competition among firms proceeds in a fair manner, subject to the requirements of competition law. While the OCECPR deals with ex-ante competition matters relating to the provision of electronic communication services, all ex-post competition issues relating to the activities of service providers are dealt with by the Commission for the Protection of Competition.

Following the decision of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law in 2011,11in line with legislation,12 the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority was designated by the Commissioner as the provider of Universal Service for three years, starting from the publication date of the decision, for the entire set of services in the field of Universal Electronic Services Provider as defined in the RECPS Law.13 As a condition of international financial support provided to Cyprus in 2013, it was agreed that privatisation of a number of state-owned enterprises would take place. A timetable has now been agreed, with the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority being the first entity to be privatised.

Legal Sources of Regulation and Enforcement

Primary Legal Sources

Under Cyprus law, telecommunication activities and services fall under the umbrella of electronic communications and are regulated under the RECPS Law, which establishes the terms of regulation in relation to networks and services required for the implementation of electronic communication as well as the associated services and facilities that are required for the application of a harmonized regulatory framework of regulation within the EU with the objective to facilitate the convergence of the branches of telecommunication, information technology, and electronic media sectors. The main statutes relating to electronic communications in Cyprus are:

The Regulation of Electronic Communication and Postal Services Law, Law Number 112(I)/2004, as amended in 2012, and secondary legislation and Orders (the 'RECPS Law');14

  • The EU Regulatory Package 2002,15 as implemented by the RECPS Law;
  • EU Directive 2006/24/EC on Data Retention;
  • The Law on Preservation of Telecommunications Data for the Purpose of Investigating Serious Criminal Offences, Law Number 183(I)/2007 (the 'POTD Act');
  • The Order Stipulating Organisations with Significant Market Power (Telecommunications) of 2003,16 under which significant market power obligations have been conferred in the telecommunications sector;17
  • The Decision on the Methodology of the Determination of the Electronic Communications Market of 2005;18
  • The Order for the Determination of the Setting of Procedures and Analysis of the Electronic Communications Market of 2005;19
  • The Radiocommunications Law (Law Number 146(I) of 2002), as amended;
  • The Radiocommunications (Competition and Negotiation Procedures) Regulations of 2002−2012, as amended;
  • The Radiocommunications (Radioequipment) Regulations of 2003−2011, as amended;
  • The Radiocommunications (Fees) Regulations of 2004−2012, as amended;
  • The Radiocommunications (Authorisations) Regulations of 2004−2012, as amended;
  • The Radio and Television Broadcasting Stations Law (Law Number 7(I)/1998), as amended 1998−2013; and
  • The Radio and Television Broadcasting Regulations 2000.

To continue reading, please click here.


1. Cap 302 of 1954.

2. Cap 302 of 1954, s 3.

3. Cap 302 of 1954, s 5.

4. Cap 302 of 1954, ss 42 and 43.

5. RECPS Law, s 2.

6. RECPS Law, s 18.

7. Law Number 19(1)/2002.

8. The functions, powers, and duties of the Commissioner are set out in Part 5 of the RECPS Law (sections 20−24).

9. Scancom is a private firm that made its appearance in the Cyprus market on 12 July 2004 and trades as a company under the name 'MTN'. Areeba, which was taken over and renamed 'MTN', Cyprus, was the final bidder for the first commercial licence in 2005 (removing at that time the Greek bidder OTE which was also participating in the bidding).

10. A price war began in 2005 between the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority and its competitor Areeba when the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority refused to accept a Commission ruling that it should reduce higher prices, but the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Areeba.

11. Decision for the Determination of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority as the Provider of Universal Service in the Sector of Electronic Communication 2011, published in the Cyprus Gazette on 4 March 2011 as Individual Administrative Act Number 170.

12. Subsidiary Administrative Acts Number 138/2005 and Number 88/2007 and sections 108 and 109 of the RECPS Law.

13. Regulation of Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law, Law Number 112(I) of 2004, as amended.

14. The Law abolished and replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Tele-communications and Postal Regulation; Law Number 19(I)/2002.

15. The European Union Regulatory Package 2002: Directive (2002/21/EC) on a common regulatory framework, Directive (2002/19/EC) on access and interconnection, Directive (2002/20/EC) on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services, Directive (2002/22/EC) on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and service, Directive (2002/59/EC) on privacy and electronic communications, and Directive (2002/77/EC) on competition in the markets for electronic communications services.

16. Order of the OCECPR, Number 1/2003 of 24 April 2003.

17. In accordance with the Order, the OCECPR sets out to identify which organisations and enterprises have significant market power, as provided by Law Number 19(I)/2002.

18. Subsidiary Administrative Act Number 148/2005 of 24 March 2005.

19. Subsidiary Administrative Act Number 147/2005 of 24 March 2005.

Previously published by Juris Publishing, Inc

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.