Telecoms package must drive step change in infrastructure investment and support 5G leadership

On 14 September, the European Commission tabled legislative proposals to revamp Europe’s telecoms regulatory framework. “The Commission has recognised the need to incentivise a step change in infrastructure investment in order to fulfil the potential of the Digital Single Market,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. “Its spectrum policy reform proposals, for example, will help provide the consistency needed to underpin investor confidence. The Commission has also taken steps to reduce some aspects of sector-specific service regulation that are no longer relevant or appropriate in today’s dynamic and converging communications service market,” noted Granryd.  “Telecoms markets have changed beyond recognition since the current set of rules was enacted. Today’s markets are much broader in scope due to the convergence of digital technologies and services. Improvements to the Commission’s blueprint should focus on further incentivising investment and ensuring that European citizens benefit from a same service/same protection guarantee.”

Spectrum is an enabler for growth and competitiveness in the digital age and reform of the management of Europe’s spectrum assets is required. The Commission has rightly recognised the need to encourage the efficient and timely release of spectrum and the need for longer licence periods that afford certainty. The spectrum proposals can contribute to addressing the fragmented and inconsistent approach that exists across the EU today.

“Harmonised spectrum – in the right frequencies, at the right time, and under the right conditions – is a prerequisite for enabling the investments needed to deliver 5G leadership. This is not just about what operators need, but about what our society and economy need to allow Europe to make the most of a vital and scarce resource” said Granryd.

The GSMA calls on the Member States and the European Parliament to introduce further improvements to the reform package to achieve the step change in connectivity investment needed to underpin the Digital Single Market.

The reform package should support 5G leadership, which would propel Europe back into the “Digital Premier League” and deliver the next wave of mobile innovation for Europe’s citizens and businesses. “It is time to lead, and to deliver for EU businesses and consumers the maximum benefits of the global digital and mobile revolution,” concluded Granryd.