Position papers

ETNO's position papers present its member-companies' views on a wide range of technical, regulatory and trade issues to European Union decision-makers, national governments and the general public.

They are developed either internally by ETNO working groups or, occasionally, in co-operation with third parties such as other industry associations.

Click here for definitions of ETNO Position Papers and Expert Contributions.

  • Position papers

    ETNO and EENA's letter to the European Commission on planned electricity network outages and impact on telecommunications network in Europe

    ETNO and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) call upon the European Commission to work together with Member States to ensure that in the event of planned electricity outages, telecommunications networks be placed on priority lists to ensure continuity of service and thus access to emergency communications.

    Read the letter by ETNO Director General Lise Fuhr and EENA Executive Director Gary Machado to the European Commission below.

    6 December, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO response to the public consultation on BEREC draft Work Programme 2023

    ETNO welcomes the opportunity to provide input towards BEREC’s Work Programme 2023. We believe that BEREC should in general focus on the ongoing tasks as mandated by EU legislation, as defined in the EECC, the Open Internet Regulation, roaming and intra‐EU calls, for example. We support BEREC’s commitment establishing structured cooperation mechanisms with EU institutions and other competent authorities.

    ETNO would like to have the possibility to contribute to the BEREC work for 2023 and the coming years in the best way possible. Thus, we would like to stress the importance to have longer consultation periods to provide comments to reports and reply to consultations. We think setting consultation periods of 6 to 8 weeks would allow for a more efficient process and enrich the input provided.

    In addition, ETNO deems of the utmost importance stakeholders are always involved and properly consulted; in fact, we note with disappointment that for some BEREC studies (such as for instance the one on the evolution of competition dynamics of tower and access infrastructure companies not directly providing retail services and the external study on the trends and policy/regulatory challenges of cloudification, virtualisation and softwarisation of telecommunications) no consultation with stakeholders is planned.

    For questions and clarifications regarding this position paper, please contact Xhoana Shehu (shehu@etno.eu).

    7 November, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO Position Paper on the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse

    ETNO welcomes the initiative taken by the European Commission to prevent and combat child sexual abuse material online. ETNO members have been actively engaged in numerous initiatives to this end, including collaboration with law enforcement agencies, and the implementation of blocking lists.

    The Commission’s proposal is highly relevant and timely, given the prevalence of this serious issue, and telecommunications network operators have long been – and will continue to be – committed to playing our part in ensuring the safety of the digital ecosystem. Nevertheless, we believe there are some aspects of the proposed Regulation which require improvement, in order for the final rules to form part of a holistic and effective set of instruments to strengthen capacities and combat this type of crime.

    Each player in the internet ecosystem, and indeed law enforcement agencies, government and society, has an important and distinct role. In order to develop a strong response to the prevalence of child sexual abuse online, the resources and capacities of appropriate national authorities must be reinforced. By way of example, when it comes to blocking known CSAM, it is important that law enforcement agencies be responsible for the identification of the URLs and guarantee their accuracy, and private operators carry out the implementation of blocking lists.

    Above all, the guiding principle of this important piece of legislation must be that illegal content – in this case CSAM – should be removed as close to the source as possible. Not only does this protect the confidentiality of communications, ensuring a more targeted and proportionate legal framework, but it also improves the efficacy of the measures. In the case of solicitation, the place where the first contact is made (often social media / online platform) is the place where a timely and effective intervention should take place.

    For questions and clarifications regarding this position paper, please contact Ross Creelman (creelman@etno.eu).

    18 October, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO response to the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) Preliminary Opinion on Radiofrequency

    ETNO would like to welcome this opportunity to comment on the preliminary Opinion on the need of a revision of the annexes in the Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC and Directive 2013/35/EU, in view of the latest scientific evidence available with regard to radiofrequency.

    ETNO supports revision of the annexes in the EU Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC and Directive 2013/35/EU based on the updated ICNIRP guidelines (2020). In addition, we propose that each Member State applies them and does not impose more stringent limits, nor other conditions, than defined in the annexes.

    More specifically, ETNO strongly urges that each Member State and municipality aligns with the EMF limits defined by ICNIRP. Stricter limits, not based on scientific evidence, confuse the citizens of the Member States. They also lead to worse network capacity, and even difficulties fulfilling coverage obligations and deploying new technologies. They limit cell range and limit possibility to deploy new bands per site. This leads towards much denser networks, which may be challenging due to deployment restrictions. Moreover, higher number of network equipment leads to higher energy consumption and carbon emissions in manufacturing and in operation. The need to keep single antenna site emissions below stricter limits may also slow down the migration from a “stable” technology to an emerging one, due to the need to ensure the continuity of legacy services.


    For questions and clarifications regarding this position paper, please contact:
    - Maarit Palovirta (palovirta@etno.eu), Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at ETNO.
    - Xhoana Shehu (shehu@etno.eu), Policy Manager, ETNO.

    30 September, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO response to RSPG Consultation on the Draft RSPG Opinion on ITU-R World Radiocommunication Conference 2023

    ETNO appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to the consultation on the Draft RSPG Opinion on ITU-R World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23).

    16 August, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO response to EC call for evidence on EU position for WRC-23

    ETNO appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to the European Commission Call for Evidence on the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 EU position.

    1 August, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    Response to public consultation on the Commission’s Call for Evidence for the initiative “State aid – Exemptions for small amounts of aid (de minimis aid)”

    ETNO welcomes the initiative of the Commission and the possibility to provide preliminary comments in response to the Call for Evidence.

    Beyond the fact that the Regulation in force is going to expire at the end of 2023, a review is needed in order to take into account the experience registered since its adoption, the review applied to other State aid relevant laws (i.e. GBER thresholds) and the new market context.

    25 July, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    Joint ETNO and GSMA position on the EC proposal for a Data Act

    ETNO and the GSMA, who represent the telecoms sector in Europe and worldwide, welcome the Data Act proposal of the European Commission.

    19 July, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO-GSMA response to the public consultation on the draft BEREC Guidelines on the application of Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2022/612 of 6 April 2022 on roaming on public communications networks within the Union (Wholesale Roaming Guidelines)

    Introduction

    ETNO and the GSMA, who represent the telecoms sector in Europe, welcome the opportunity to comment on BEREC’s Draft Wholesale Roaming Guidelines. ETNO and the GSMA hope the following detailed comments can serve as a constructive contribution to BEREC’s deliberations on its draft Guidelines.


    Wholesale roaming provisions

    We note that the final Guidelines will not be published until October this year. Given the importance of the Guidelines for implementation of the new Roaming Regulation and the gap between such adoption and the effective date of the Regulation itself, we consider that the immediate update of contracts as implied by the last paragraph of Guideline 1 is disproportionate. We therefore urge BEREC to update the Guidelines to reflect that existing access agreements “need to be gradually updated as necessary to make them consistent with the Roaming Regulation”. This gradual transition is considered in the Regulation in recital 14.

    In respect of Guideline 5, we consider that a one-month period for refusal to be provided in writing to the access seeker is too short and that a more appropriate “reasonable timeframe” would be sixty days. This procedure is expected to take longer than the provision of the draft agreement referred to in Art 3(5). In addition we consider that the Guidelines should be amended to reflect that such a period should only commence “after the initial receipt of the complete request by the MNO”. Without a complete request the receiving operator cannot conduct a full evaluation and determine if there are any objective reasons for refusal such as technical feasibility and network integrity.

    BEREC states in the second paragraph of Guideline 6 that it “considers that it is reasonable to prioritise requests for 4G services, including VoLTE, if such wholesale roaming agreements are not in place already”. ETNO and the GSMA are of the view that the addition of “while allowing for sufficient implementation time on the side of the visited network” is required to reflect the fact that prioritisation can be best determined by the visited operator and the current wording introduces scope for the provision to be used as unwarranted leverage by the access seeker. The established market practice is that the operator planning to switch-off a network sends its partners periodic reminders, more frequently as the deadline approaches.


    Read the whole document at the link below
    . For questions and clarifications regarding this paper, please contact Xhoana Shehu, Policy Officer (shehu@etno.eu).

    27 June, 2022 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO response to the public consultation on the Informal Guidance Notice for businesses – anti-competitive agreements and abuse of a dominant market position

    ETNO welcomes the update of the Commission Notice on informal guidance and appreciates the intent of the revision.

    Indeed, ad hoc guidance letters, that are also publicly accessible, are a very important complement to the other existing competition tools. In particular, wider and more flexible criteria for providing individual businesses with guidance letters could significantly improve legal certainty. Therefore, a review that will enable companies and the Commission to use this tool more often and in a more flexible way would benefit the businesses, but also the market (and, in the end, the consumers too).

    In this sense, ETNO is pleased that the explicit purpose of the review is to change the current criteria that narrowly interpreted the circumstances in which the Commission could provide informal guidance pursuant to Recital 38 of Regulation 1/2003, and that the Commission has affirmed that “such a very strict approach is no longer justified”.

    Therefore, we welcome that the draft of the Notice has explicitly extended – also in the title itself – the scope of application of the Notice, which is now more in line with recital 38 of Regulation 1/2003; enabling the Commission to provide informal guidance to businesses in cases of «unresolved» questions, and not only in the case of new questions (as per the current Notice).

    This way, the Notice would cover cases in which businesses are genuinely uncertain about the application of antitrust rules. Thus, the main positive achievement in the draft is that cases where there is no «sufficient clarity» (instead of «no clarification») in the existing Union legal\ framework, nor «sufficient» (the term “sufficient” has been added in the draft) publicly available general guidance at Union level in decision-making practice or previous guidance letters could now fall within the scope of the Note (par. 7(a) of the draft Notice).

    However, in our vision, the relevant purposes and objectives mentioned above cannot be better achieved without some revisions of the draft, as suggested in the next two paragraphs of this paper. These revisions are necessary to ensure that the objective of making guidance more accessible to applicants, and thereby to obtain sufficient legal certainty, can be met without imposing further burdensome obligations on companies. Without these changes, applicants may be dissuaded from seeking guidance and no progress in use of the tool would be achieved.

    Read the whole document at the link below. For questions and clarifications regarding this paper, please contact Maarit Palovirta, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs (palovirta@etno.eu).

     

    21 June, 2022 Read more
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