Luxembourg's telecommunications market was liberalised in 1998, but liberalisation has been slow and the incumbent, P&T Luxembourg (EPT), remains dominant. 3G was launched in 2003.
The main telecommunications companies have traditionally been P&T Luxembourg and Societe Europeenne de Communication SA (SEC).
Internet telecommunications company Skype is based in Luxembourg. Founded in 2002 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, Skype offers high-quality voice communications to anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world.
In September, 2005, eBay agreed to acquire Skype for approximately USD2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration. Microsoft acquired Skype in May, 2011 for USD8.5 billion from the investor group Silver Lake which had bought the company in 2009.
In November 2006 in a letter sent to the telecom regulator of Luxembourg, Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation, the European Commission welcomed a regulatory measure proposed by ILR at the end of September designed to give new market entrants high-speed access to end-customers (or bit-stream access) via the broadband networks of Luxembourg’s telecom incumbent EPT (Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications).
EPT is the only supplier in the relevant market, thus having 100% market share in the relevant wholesale market.
The remedies proposed by ILR required Luxembourg’s telecom incumbent to open its broadband networks to competitors by allowing them to purchase a high speed access link to the customer premises from EPT with transmission capacity for broadband data in both direction, thus enabling new entrants to offer their own, value-added services to end users.
The European Commission announced in July 2007 that it had closed an infringement procedure against Luxembourg, initiated as a result of the government's failure to comply with a Court of Justice judgement concerning the Luxembourg telecommunications markets.
In January 2007, the Commission asked Luxembourg to comply with a Court of Justice ruling of 12 June 2003, confirming that Luxembourg had failed to fully transpose Directive 90/388/CEE on competition in the markets for telecommunication services into national law.
Following the adoption of two regulations establishing transparent access conditions for new operators, the Commission considers that Luxembourg now complies with EU law.
ISP and Hosting Services; Connectivity
ISPs in Luxembourg have included Global Media Systems, Luxline Internet Services, Visual Online and Focus Internet Services.
Payment Processing and certification
There are three options for payment processing in Luxembourg. Some ISPs can accept an e-commerce company's payments through their own accounts, or those partnered with WorldPay, for example, can set up accounts with WorldPay for an e-commerce company. Finally, there is a DIY option for e-commerce businesses. Luxembourg-registered companies can use the online processing system launched in June 2000 by the Centre de Transferts Electroniques (Cetrel).