Open letter from the CEOs of the European Mobile Operators

Tallinn: Mobile is a pivotal industry contributing to Europe’s economy and enabling an increasing range of adjacent sectors and innovative services. As leaders of the mobile industry in Europe and ahead of your Informal Ministerial Meeting on the 18th of July 2017, we would like to express our deep concerns regarding current discussions on the spectrum elements of the proposed European Electronic Communication Code.

We see this as an unprecendented chance to champion genuine spectrum policy reform, that will position Europe as a true global leader. Specifically, we would like to emphasise the need for:

  • Clear provisions addressing the predictability of future rights, notably minimum license duration of 25 years coupled with a strong presumption of renewal;
  • An effective and efficient peer-review mechanism to spur the sharing of best practice over award design and procedures;
  • The ability to compete, innovate and differentiate through voluntary spectrum sharing;
  • A fee structure that reflects efficient and effective use of the spectrum as well as coverage commitments.

Reforming the current spectrum rules is of the utmost importance. Creating the right spectrum policy framework in Europe is critical for the development of a true Digital Single Market. Failure to establish a well-functioning and investment-friendly spectrum framework risks stifling innovation, growth and development for decades to come. This will not only impact the mobile industry, but also adjacent sectors that increasingly rely on connectivity and digitilisation.

As the leaders of the mobile industry, we fully endorse the Gigabit Society objectives and unleashing the potential of a genuinely connected continent. The Digital Single Market will be driven by private sector investment and innovation, and must be backed by a fresh approach to regulation, keeping pace with dynamic and converging markets. Only then will Europe be able to move quickly, and capitalise on the tremendous opportunities a digitaly vibrant economy can offer to its citizens and businesses.

Europe stands at a crossroads, with the opportunity to be amongst global leaders in the development of 5G technology, transforming itself, its economy and its society for future generations. We hope we can work together to implement this vision for the future.

List of Signatories:

Eelco Blok
Chairman and CEO, KPN

Timotheus Höttges
CEO, Deutsche Telekom

Sigve Brekke
President and CEO, Telenor Group

José María Álvarez-Pallete
Chairman and CEO, Telefónica

Flavio Cattaneo
CEO, Telecom Italia

Alejandro Plater
CEO, Telekom Austria Group

Vittorio Colao
CEO, Vodafone Group

Stéphane Richard
Chairman and CEO, Orange

Johan Dennelind
President and CEO, Telia Company

Mats Granryd
Director General, GSMA