The GSMA welcomes European Commission’s White Paper on “How to master Europe’s digital infrastructure needs?”

We welcome the publication of the European Commission’s White Paper on how to master Europe’s digital infrastructure needs, which includes a range of forward-looking options for revitalising investment in Europe’s networks.

Such investment has never been a higher priority for Europe’s economy as a whole. By the Commission’s own estimates, the continent faces a €200bn deficit in funding for network infrastructure. This gap urgently needs to be addressed if the services available to European citizens and businesses are to keep pace with the digital development of other regions and if the EU’s ambitious Digital Decade targets are to be achieved, leaving no one behind.

The next cohort of EU policymakers will face a one-shot opportunity to overhaul today’s telecoms regulatory framework to enable Europe’s industry and SMEs to compete globally and reap the benefits of digital infrastructure.

Revising spectrum policy to accelerate the deployment of advanced mobile connectivity; recognising the need for scale to avoid market fragmentation; developing new financing mechanisms for the faster rollout of next generation networks, implementing a level playing field that allows telecom operators to negotiate fair terms for the services provided to Big Tech firms; and updating telecoms regulation to reflect the competitive dynamics in the markets, should form the basis of a new approach. We are encouraged to see all of these elements featuring prominently in the text of the White Paper.

We will engage further with the Commission and other EU policy makers and stakeholders to ensure that building an environment conducive to investment and innovation in next-generation networks remains a priority in the next legislative cycle, delivering maximum benefit to European citizens and industry.