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The untapped potential of a digital single market for business communication services is worth 90 billion in Europe, a study estimates


22 Jan 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Innovation & Enterprise

The economic loss of a fragmented market for electronic communication services for businesses amounts to 90 billion according to a thorough analysis released today by WIK Consult. The study concludes that a regulatory action from the European Union is needed in order to tap the full potential of the Digital Single Market for businesses and productivity.

European businesses operating cross-border need high quality electronic communication services (e.g. voice, email, data) tailored to their needs (a bank has different needs from a retail chain) and they need a one-stop-shop for the provision of those electronic communication services that are at the heart of their productivity across all sectors.

The study released today in the European Parliament during a breakfast meeting officially hosted by MEP Pilar Del Castillo, focused on analysing the challenges of multi-site and multi-national corporations in procuring electronic communication services and of Pan-European telecom operators supplying these services.

Tom Ruhan, Chairman of ECTA said “This study demonstrates that there is still much that policy makers can do to help overcome the current crisis. Europe is missing significant economic opportunities. Multinational businesses are responsible for 60mn jobs and half of the value of the whole EU economy. EU Institutions bear the responsibility to do everything they can to foster their productivity”.

ECTA and INTUG call upon the Commission to act quickly and firmly to enhance the conditions of the digital single market for businesses. A harmonisation of EU rules would allow European companies to gain ground over their global competitors.

Erzsebet Fitori, Director of ECTA said “the key findings of the study show that competition in Pan-European business services markets could be further boosted. ECTA and its members trust that the European Commission will deliver on creating a single, harmonised Pan-European business communications market as a matter of priority.”

Danielle Jacobs, Chairman of INTUG said “The cloud, video communications, collaboration, etc. define how companies can organise themselves. It is a pity that many businesses see that only a very limited number of service providers can present solutions combining true global connectivity with the required technical specifications due to a lack of competition at the national level. This situation leads to vendor lock-in, and offers too little choice and flexibility to build the best solution. The residential and business markets differ significantly, and need their own regulatory approaches."

In the survey nearly 70% of business end-users said they preferred to purchase telecoms services from a single provider covering multiple countries but most said this was not normally a practical option and that they are concerned about the fragmentation of regulation of business service products across Europe. This seriously impacts their ability to use seamless cross-border services.


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INTUG is the international association of business users of telecommunications, bringing together national and multinational user associations throughout the world. With members and contacts in all five continents we have a global presence. Contact: Danielle Jacobs, Chairman of the Board (+32 495.10.88.51 /

ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association - ) is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile. Contact: Federico Poggi, Senior Manager Public Affairs (+32 2 290.01.03 / ).


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