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Investment & innovation in telecoms are crucial for Europe’s growth


20 Jan 2016


Innovation & Enterprise

The European Parliament approved yesterday their report “Towards a Digital Single Market Act”. In this context, ETNO – the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators – is calling for more space for innovation in telecoms services and for incentives to invest in broadband deployment.


As the European Commission initiates their review of the current Telecoms Regulatory Framework, ETNO believes that a series of principles should be followed in order to ensure that the best services are available for EU consumers and to promote the competitiveness of Europe’s economy through superfast broadband availability.


A renewed focus on innovation. The complexity of the current rules, as well as the regulatory asymmetries between providers of similar services create unnecessary barriers to telecoms innovation. The revised rules should provide more space for innovation and ensure regulatory consistency to the benefit of both consumers and businesses.


Broadband investment as a top political priority. The growth potential of the Internet of Things depends on our ability to roll-out superfast broadband networks. At present, according to a Boston Consulting Group report, we still fall short of €106 billion in investment in order to achieve the old 2010 Digital Agenda targets.


Additional telecoms investment can be achieved through a simplified, market-based and technology-neutral regulatory framework. We should allow more space for commercial terms, in order to promote thriving markets and meet the connectivity needs of a modern society.


We should overcome the wait-and-see approach induced by the current rules. Better competition can be achieved if telecom operators are stimulated to lead with enhanced investment.


Supporting the mobile economy. Societal and economic opportunities are arising from the widespread use of smartphones, tablets and applications. If we are to maximise these opportunities, we need to promote the availability of spectrum for mobile and achieve a harmonised spectrum policy across the EU. We should tackle crucial issues such as the assignment conditions for spectrum, with a view to enabling economies of scale and increasing market certainty.


Steven Tas, Chairman of ETNO, said: “We should unlock telcos' potential to innovate and ignite a new wave of broadband deployment in the interest of EU’s citizens. Regulatory simplification and pro-innovation policies should be at the heart of the on-going digital reform”.


For more information, please contact: Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications & Media – ETNO,, +32 (0) 476 941839