Leading European telecoms companies have published an open letter calling on EU decision-makers to closely align Europe’s digital ambitions with a supportive political and regulatory ecosystem. It is essential for Europe to take the lead in technological innovation and inclusion. The CEOs of leading European service providers call for action in three specific areas:
Clear coordination between Europe’s digital leadership ambitions and competition policy. Positive signals for industry cooperation, from network sharing to IPCEI projects to other cooperations, are an important step forward and need to be strengthened. Increasing the size of the telecommunications sector remains a priority, both within and between markets, which is in the strategic interest of the EU and its citizens.
Strong political support to ensure that regulatory measures promote gigabit investments in networks, which will require an additional investment of € 300 billion. Regulation must fully reflect market realities, now and in the future. Namely, for telecom service providers to compete face to face with the services of large technology companies in vibrant markets. High frequency prices and auctions that artificially force unsustainable new entrants into the market must be stopped
Recent ideas to change the Commission’s proposal and to regulate retail prices for international calls telecommunications companies estimate that it would forcibly extract more than € 2 billion in revenue from the sector over 4 years. This is equivalent to 2.5 percent of the sector’s annual mobile infrastructure investment capacity. In addition, ongoing policy work to reduce deployment costs is essential and needs to move forward quickly.
Further efforts are needed to balance the link between global technology giants and the European digital ecosystem. Telecom companies have stated that measures such as the Digital Market Act play a crucial role and therefore strongly support them. In addition, important sector-specific issues need to be taken into account. A large and growing share of network traffic is generated and monetised by large technology platforms, but this requires continuous, intensive network investment and planning by the telecommunications sector.
This model, which allows EU citizens can reap the benefits of the digital transformation – only if such large technology platforms make a fair contribution to network costs. It must also be ensured that new industrial strategies enable European players, including telecoms companies, to compete successfully in the global data space for a European data economy based on true European values.
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