The future of Europe is closely linked to connectivity, in particular to secure, ultra-fast and low-latency 5G mobile and fiber networks. This according to what 20 CEOs of European Telcos (including Margherita Della Valle of Vodafone Group) report, who ask the EU in an open letter to protect this digital future.
Telco CEOs call on EU to protect digital future
5G infrastructure could become essential for the next wave of digital transformation in continental Europe. CEOs think it will be critical for new applications in the fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). But it won’t be an easy road.
The European Union (EU) has set ambitious targets for Digital Decade 2030. To achieve these goals, a significant investment in network infrastructure is essential. The CEOs explain that it is estimated that they will serve at least 174 billion euros of new investments by 2030 to achieve the EU’s connectivity objectives. Currently, lThe telecommunications industry is unable to cover this demand. Furthermore, the industry must face the fact that data traffic continues to grow.
To deal with this situation, European telecommunications operators they demand a fair contribution from the companies that benefit most from network infrastructure that they build and manage. These are the main traffic generators. And it should include greater accountability and transparency in sharing the costs of Europe’s digital infrastructure.
These measures aim to balance market power and resolve current asymmetrieswhere big tech companies pay a small fee to transport data, far from covering the costs of expanding the networks.
The European Commission has stated that any regulatory mechanism would comply with net neutrality rules. The goal is to ensure equal access to digital infrastructure for all.
They signed the open letter:
- Thomas Arnoldner, CEO, A1 Telekom Austria Group
- Ana Figueiredo, CEO, Altice Portugal
- Edward Bouygues, Chairman, and Benoit Torloting, CEO, Bouygues Telecom
- Philip Jansen, Chief Executive, BT Group
- Andreas Neocleous, CEO, CYTA
- Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom
- Oliver Loomes, CEO, eir
- Christian Salbaing, Deputy Chairman, Hutchison Europe
- Mike Fries, CEO, Liberty Global
- Joost Farwerck, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management, KPN
- Christel Heydemann, CEO, Orange Group
- Guillaume Boutin, CEO, Proximus Group
- Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor Group
- Michel Jumeau, CEO, TDC NET
- José María Alvarez Pallete, Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
- Kjell Morten Johnsen, President and CEO, Tele2 Group
- Allison Kirkby, President and CEO, Telia Company
- Pietro Labriola, CEO and General Manager, TIM
- Victoria Boklag, CEO, United Group
- Margherita Della Valle, CEO, Vodafone Group