GSMA calls for urgent telecom rule changes to support EU industry investment
Date: Wed, 05/06/2015 - 13:17
Afke Schaart, Vice President, GSMA Europe
Image credited to the GSMA
Afke Schaart, Vice President, GSMA Europe, commented on today’s launch of the EU Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy by Vice President Ansip: “We welcome the DSM Strategy, which sets out the right priorities and objectives to encourage the significant digital network investment required to successfully realise the Digital Single Market.
“At the same time, the Commission urgently needs to press ahead with the telecom review, ideally this year. The GSMA is calling for clearer, investment-focused signals from the outset that indicate rapid action to bring about a fair and competitive EU telecom policy framework.
“Mobile plays a unique role in the achievement of the Digital Single Market, bringing together the physical and digital worlds. Delivering this connectivity to nearly everything and everyone will facilitate new business models, increase efficiencies and improve the way services are delivered across many different sectors. The ‘Industrial Internet’ has the potential to transform enterprises, opening up new sources of economic growth and competitiveness across market sectors. Policies should ensure that users across the entire European economy are able to enjoy digital services to the maximum economic and social benefit.
“The €155 billion of investment by mobile network operators in the seven years through 2014 has made a material difference to Europe’s economy and society. However, if we are to achieve the €340 billion additional GDP per year that the Commission estimates would be delivered by a full Digital Single Market, we need a step change in digital network investment. To encourage and support that investment, the regulatory framework needs to be modernised as a matter of urgency.
“Indeed, we support the intention signalled in the DSM Strategy to apply the same rules to the same service by addressing regulatory imbalances impacting the telecom market, ensuring digital consumers can rely on a consistent level of protection appropriate for the service they use, whatever the technology, the business model and the provider. Equally, the Commission clearly understands the importance of encouraging the timely and coordinated release across Europe of spectrum for mobile broadband. Both of these elements of the framework need to change to ensure vital network investment for a full DSM.
“The Vice President has prioritised key areas and we now call on him to do the same for the digital networks that will underpin the DSM Strategy by making an equally clear and unambiguous statement about investment and recognising the urgency of regulatory change by bringing forward the start of the telecom framework review.”