Barcelona: Following today’s meeting of the Member State ambassadors to the EU, Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA, commented:
“The GSMA fully supports the efforts of President Juncker to establish a European Digital Single Market and is committed to help realising this goal in the near future. While we believe that the reduction in scope of the Connected Continent proposals to net neutrality and roaming represents a missed opportunity, the immediate priority is for these proposals to reach a positive conclusion so that we can start the process of creating a truly Digital Single Market that will benefit Europe’s citizens and businesses.
“A single market for Europe will accelerate innovation in mobile services, boost investment in mobile networks and deliver significant economic and social benefits. To kick-start this transformation and maintain its momentum, progressive, ongoing changes to Europe’s policy and regulatory environment are required.
“The GSMA welcomes today’s announcement of Member State alignment behind a package of early reforms. We believe this should be swiftly followed by further changes aimed at levelling the playing field for all investors, based on the principle of “same service, same rules”. Within such a framework, the priorities for reform should be to:
- Maximise incentives for investment in new network capacity and technologies;
- Ensure that service platforms are open and interoperable;
- Reduce excessive regulation, focusing instead on ensuring effective competition; and
- Reform spectrum policies to ensure greater regulatory certainty and supporting harmonisation for mobile broadband deployment.
“With regard to the specific elements of the Council’s proposal, we would caution against an overly prescriptive approach to net neutrality. Mobile operators need to deliver effective management of the rapidly growing levels of Internet traffic and ensure there is scope for new services to be developed alongside basic Internet access.
“In terms of roaming, we would recommend further refinement to the proposals in areas such as the “basic roaming allowance”, in order to avoid unnecessary implementation costs and a lengthy set-up period. Note that increasing numbers of mobile operators already provide options such as roaming at domestic prices as part of their existing consumer offerings.”
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
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