The Bulgarian Telecommunications Association ( ASTEL ) is a large branch NGO in the telecommunications sector in the country. It was established on April 10, 2002 by 19 legal entities and individuals – telecommunications operators, manufacturers and importers of communications equipment, companies in the field of information technology and the Internet, specialized consulting firms, universities and prominent experts. Today it has more than 50 members.
The Telecommunications Association target is to combine efforts, strengths and potentials of as many as possible participants at the Bulgarian telecommunications market. Key objectives of the Telecommunications Association are:
•Co-operation in elaborating of the new legal framework;
•Assistance in the process of regulating the telecommunications market;
•Consulting the national policy and regulatory authorities in telecommunications market regulations;
•Participation in EU fostered programs;
•Promoting an improved information environment for telecommunications players;
•Enhancement of qualification and professional training of its members’ staff.
The Association supports the business and professional relationships of its members, their ongoing dialogue with governmental authorities. Through a constant dialogue with government bodies such as the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), it protects the interests of its members. The Association presents to the competent authorities its opinion on the state, current problems and development of the telecommunications sector in the country.
The Telecommunication Association attracts local and foreign experts in commissions and working groups on technical, scientific, legal, economic and other issues directly related to its activities.
In addition, the Association participates in the organization of meetings, symposia, seminars, thematic exhibitions and other forms fostering the development of telecommunications industry in Bulgaria.