GSMA Statement on the Global Network Investment Demands Faced by Mobile Operators

Mobile is one of the greatest technology success stories of all time, making a significant socio-economic contribution to every country. Robust and resilient digital infrastructure is in every country’s national interest.

The volume of data crossing telecoms networks is growing exponentially as more people take advantage of broadband connectivity and demand for data-heavy digital content such as streaming video proliferates. Remarkably, more than half of all internet traffic today is generated by only six global internet companies.

To accommodate the rising flows of digital traffic and sustain service performance, mobile operators must constantly invest — to expand their network capacity, close coverage gaps and deploy new technologies.

Depending on individual market circumstances, sector-specific regulatory and fiscal requirements such as asymmetric regulatory obligations, sector-specific taxes and fees, network deployment costs and restrictions, combined with market imbalances along the digital value chain, put additional pressure on operators’ ongoing investments to maintain, expand and evolve their networks to meet the expectations of their customers and achieve broader public policy objectives.

All segments of the internet ecosystem should have the opportunity to make fair returns in a competitive marketplace. Industry leaders, stakeholders and policymakers need to engage in dialogue where this is not the case, to ensure that regulatory asymmetry, market distortions or other factors do not limit this ability, and that the right incentives for digital infrastructure investment are in place to support the long-term growth of the ecosystem.

Different approaches may be appropriate in different markets to address any market imbalances; however, the ultimate goal is nevertheless the same: to deliver and sustain digital connectivity — for everyone — for decades to come.

For more information please contact:

Lotte Abildgaard

Director Public Policy, Europe , GSMA

Lotte leads the public policy initiatives on the regulatory files in GSMA Europe, coordinating activities to advance the members’ positions on a range of topics including net neutrality, roaming, cyber security and the wider debate on a proportionate framework to sustain long term investments in connectivity across Europe.

Lotte has broad experiences from the telecommunications sector working with regulators and policymakers at national, European and international level. She was heading up Telenor’s Representative Office for 6 years where she positioned Telenor in various EU policy debates besides focusing on international relations between the EU and Asia. She also spent 3 years at Telenor’s headquarter in Oslo supporting Telenor Group in its relationship with international stakeholders.

Before joining GSMA’s Brussels Office, Lotte was employed by a large Danish bank where she implemented new financial regulation as a senior project manager.

Lotte is a Danish native and holds a master of agricultural economics from University of Copenhagen.

[email protected]