GSMA calls for a more comprehensive connectivity agenda to help meet Europe´s growth, jobs and competitiveness challenges

Date: Tue, 09/24/2013 - 18:20

Europe needs a forward-looking policy and regulatory framework that boosts investment, creates new jobs and drives innovation
GSMA calls for a more comprehensive connectivity agenda to help meet Europe´s growth, jobs and competitiveness challenges Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA

The European Commission announced its proposals for the development of a single telecoms market for Europe. The GSMA acknowledges the commitment and dedication of Commissioner Kroes and her team in developing these proposals against a very tight timeline. However, the GSMA believes that the package announced by the European Commission today needed to focus on measures that address the region’s growth, jobs and competitiveness challenges.
“The Commission has rightly identified that increased investment in Europe’s telecoms infrastructure is needed to drive progress across all sectors of the economy but, on balance, the package needs to do much more to support this goal,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “A more thorough and comprehensive approach is required and the mobile industry stands ready to contribute to efforts to develop an ambitious shared agenda to underpin Europe’s digital economy.”
The Communication accompanying the package correctly identifies where progress is still needed, including areas such as consolidation, deregulation and the equal regulatory treatment of companies that provide functionally equivalent services. These are key issues that must be addressed as soon as possible. The Regulation itself does include some positive elements, notably with regards to spectrum, but there remain areas of concern that risk undermining regulatory certainty, clarity and consistency, both for consumers and businesses. Overall, the GSMA believes that the proposals have suffered as a result of the requirement to accelerate procedures to match the pace set by the legislative timetable.
Recently, the GSMA released a report, “Mobile Economy Europe 2013”, which confirms that Europe has lost its edge in mobile and is now significantly underperforming other advanced economies, including the United States and areas of Asia. The report also highlights the huge potential gains for Europe’s economy as mobile technology increasingly transforms sectors such as health, education, transport and energy. To maximise the potential of these developments, the industry needs a forward-looking policy and regulatory framework for telecoms that boosts investment, creates new jobs and drives innovation.
“Reform today will set the context for investment and innovation in Europe’s digital economy for the next ten years,” continued Bouverot. “It is essential that we get it right and this process should include a comprehensive review of the increasingly outdated regulatory framework for telecoms in Europe. The right policies are ones that encourage investment, enable innovation and help build consumer confidence. We will continue to support efforts to develop these to help drive Europe towards a connected future that meets the expectations of its businesses and consumers.”

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