Europe’s telco CEOs call for co-ordinated digital policy

News

The CEOs of European telcos have called for measures to support innovation and lower network deployment costs.

A statement published by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) and signed by over 20 executives said, “We believe that the ultimate purpose of the new and existing digital networks is to enable such opportunities.

“The extensive utilisation of next-generation digital infrastructure, as well as the development of new digital services underpinned by such infrastructure, will be fundamental for achieving Europe’s ambitious socio-economic goals.”

The leaders pinpoint four key areas of focus, including a co-ordinated digital policy in Europe to ensure that European businesses can collaborate and compete globally.

Innovation

In particular, the CEO co-signatories say more support is needed to enable European innovation in data, IoT and AI.

The statement urges policy-makers to lower barriers to the roll-out of gigabit networks and to strongly incentivise investment. This also includes taking a long-term view on the value of spectrum.

Finally, the telco leaders believe action is needed on the fragmented European telecom market, to encourage investors to build at more national and cross-border scale in telecom infrastructure. This would include optimising mobile network-sharing efficiencies.

The call comes as new European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen takes up her role.

“We are ready to work together with all societal actors and with the new leadership in the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council to turn ambition into reality,” the ETNO statement said.