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ETNO calls for a strong political signal to reassure markets on the long term value of the sector

Date

03 Oct 2011

Sections

InfoSociety
Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels – About 30 Chief Executive Officers of the leading telecoms operators and ICT equipment manufacturers from Europe and beyond gathered today at the Digital Agenda Summit hosted by ETNO and the Financial Times, with Commissioner Kroes as keynote speaker.

The CEOs reiterated the key importance of the sector to drive growth and jobs as Europe is faced with one of the most serious financial and economic crisis of the past decades. CEOs underlined the crucial role of an investment-friendly policy framework for the sector to play its role as an engine of economic recovery.

If the EU wants to meet its ambitious broadband targets – to which ETNO members are very much committed – we call on the Commission to give a strong political signal that will reassure markets on the long term value of the European telecoms sector”, said Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chairman.

The forthcoming Commission guidance on regulated wholesale prices can play an important role by ensuring stability of the value of fixed networks in Europe. To the contrary, to price current copper networks below their economic value would penalize those operators that have invested in their own networks and critically reduce investment incentives for the future”, added Gambardella.

In the light of the key challenges that the sector has to tackle, ETNO insisted on the need for new business models to emerge in order for network operators to benefit from rapid data traffic increases. Policy makers should in particular encourage new quality based offers that benefit consumers and present new commercial opportunities for the telecoms and internet industry. As underlined by a new research by the London School of Economics unveiled at the ETNO/FT conference, regulation which would prevent such business models would further hamper the operators’ ability to invest.

Finally, ETNO reiterated the need for a strategic vision for the sector to encourage demand for new networks.

TV is a clear example where innovation and industrial cooperation can be beneficial for Europe. By encouraging the migration of TV from terrestrial to high speed broadband platforms, including fibre or mobile satellite networks where fibre networks would not be available, Europe would create huge demand for new high speed broadband and stimulate investment. In addition, this would contribute to free spectrum which is much needed for mobile and wireless broadband networks and therefore bridge the digital divide”, underlined Gambardella.

To consult the full agenda and register, please visit: www.ftconferences.com/etno/

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Acting Director/ Communications Manager Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 40 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €250 billion and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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