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ETNO 40th General Assembly - ETNO members call for a long-term vision to boost investments in the sector


21 Oct 2011


Innovation & Enterprise

Ljubljana – Gathered for their 40th General Assembly hosted by Telekom Slovenije, ETNO members and observers, who together account for a global turnover of €600 billion and 1.6 million employees, called on the Commission to deliver a long term strategic vision to achieve the Digital Agenda goals.

"Any telecoms policy must envisage the ICT sector as a whole. Encouraging investment in new high-speed infrastructure will have considerable spillover benefits for the entire economy. Similarly, short-termism and regulatory measures resulting in a reduction of revenues and investments would have negative consequences for all sectors of the EU economy at a time when Europe faces one of its most serious economic crisis”, said Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chairman.

The times we face are challenging. We need sustainable business models with appropriate stability and predictability. Telekom Slovenije is delighted to host this year’s General Assembly which is a key opportunity to reflect on future challenges for our sector and define the further strategy of the association”, said Robert Erzin, Telekom Slovenije, Chair of 2011 General Assembly.

The Commission decision to propose the allocation of € 9.2 billion in the multi-annual framework for new high-speed networks and services could prove to be a valuable tool for driving private high-speed broadband deployment. However, considering that the deployment of high speed networks will be mainly driven by the private sector, the value of public resources devoted to the ICT sector could be further maximised by adopting in parallel a clear pro-investment environment.  

ETNO members call for an environment which enables private investment in high speed networks. Measures aimed at pricing current copper networks below their economic value will penalise those operators that have invested in their own networks. Any radical change in the framework will put into question the legal certainty for long term investment in the EU.

ETNO members reiterated the key importance for new business models to emerge, thus enabling all players of the value chain to contribute to the challenges ahead. It is also key that the regulatory approach to next generation access networks reflects the increased competition from over the top applications and services which are not subject to the same regulatory constraints.

Measures to stimulate the development of new services and boost demand for new high speed networks will also play a key role in improving the business case for investment.

On the occasion of its 40th General Assembly, ETNO members re-elected Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia as members of the ETNO Executive Board and elected Turk Telekom as a new Board member for the first time. Four new observer members were officially welcomed in ETNO including CISCO, Huawei, RIM and Saudi Telecom Corporation (STC), extending ETNO’s outreach and expertise in new areas and markets.

Turk Telekom Group CEO, Mr. Hakam Kanafani said: “Turk Telekom is delighted to join the Executive Board of ETNO. As a founding member since May 1992, Turk Telekom, the leading telecommunications company in its region, would like to support ETNO's efforts and contribute to the vision and strategy of the organization.  Turk Telekom is proud to play a role in helping ETNO achieve its objectives for the development of the ICT sector”.

The ETNO GA has re-appointed Luigi Gambardella, Vice President of Relations with International Institutions and Organizations, Telecom Italia, as Chairman of the ETNO Board for 2012. This is the second mandate after Mr Gambardella’s first election in Prague in 2011. "I am very honoured to serve ETNO as Chairman of the Executive Board for 2012 and grateful to Board members for their confidence in me", said Luigi Gambardella. "ETNO has played an increasingly important role in 2011 and I am sure we will further enhance our activities and representation next year. The ICT sector is facing lots of challenges in terms of market and technological developments. ETNO will allow the industry’s voice to be heard with the objective of ensuring that the right policies are in place for the growth of the sector", added Gambardella.

The General Assembly Chairmanship has been handed over to Marta Brzoza, Director Regulatory Affairs, Telekomunikacja Polska. The next ETNO’s General Assembly will be held in Warsaw in October 2012.


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