Delivering an open, functional and innovative internet
Our mission is to maximise consumer and business value through well-managed and innovative mobile networks.
Net neutrality concerns the optimisation and prioritisation of traffic over mobile networks. Some argue that all traffic carried over a network should be treated equally. This stance, however, fails to acknowledge the impact that net neutrality rules can have on service quality for mobile users, the ability to support technical advances such as 5G and the Internet of Things and, more generally, the freedom to innovate and compete in the internet age.
The internet has been an open and inclusive platform for innovation, expression and development, and it should remain so. To keep the internet open and functional, however, technical and commercial flexibility for networks is essential.
Consumers are demanding a growing amount and variety of content on their mobile phones. Given limited network capacity, mobile network operators need the flexibility to differentiate between types of traffic to provide an optimal consumer experience. Driverless cars, telemedicine and smart homes will depend on managed delivery of data. Regulations should not hinder the development of innovative services by imposing a blanket prohibition of prioritised service delivery models. Regulation that limits operators’ flexibility to manage networks and offer a variety of service models is counterproductive and hinders innovation and consumer choice.
The primary role of public authorities should be to encourage competition and to address anti-competitive behavior. Regulators should act when there are proven cases of anti-competitive misconduct, but should not impose net neutrality regulation without strong evidence.
A CLOSER LOOK
Maintaining the highest possible service quality has become more complex for mobile network operators. Traffic management allows them to deliver an increasing volume and variety of content i.e. voice calls and text messages as well as email, news, video, music, maps, games and more, over limited radio frequency bands.
Mobile operators’ ability to use enhanced quality-of-service features makes possible a range of innovative services, from remote health monitoring to connected cars. Certain types of services require prioritisation over others based on their functional requirements. Flexibility in operating the networks and dynamically assigning network resources is important for the efficient delivery of these services.
Commercial offers of free access to certain mobile applications benefit consumers and competition and have proven to be popular in many countries. Regulation should not restrict such practices, which can attract new users to the digital society, opening a door to the value that internet connectivity can offer.
There is no indication that tariffs offering different combinations of price, quality and content are damaging. In fact, the opposite is true. Consumers benefit from being able to choose the type of service they prefer at a price they are willing to pay. Giving mobile operators the flexibility to differentiate also encourages innovation of new services and commercial propositions.