23 April, 2018

Statement of Europe’s CEOs on finalising the Electronic Communications Code

As CEOs and Presidents of Europe’s leading telecommunication companies, we have been vocal supporters of the ambitions outlined in the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy. Europe needs an environment that supports innovation, benefits consumers and enables increased investment in a competitive global economy. 

According to the original political and regulatory plans, the Code should be aimed at “incentivising investment in high speed broadband networks and achieving a consistent single market approach to spectrum policy and management”[1]. Success will be measured on whether we will collectively deliver increased levels of fibre roll-out and 5G to the benefit of European citizens and businesses.

The telecoms companies signing this document have currently boosted their investment effort to €29.2bn/year in EU28[2] and we are the continental leaders in network roll-out and service innovation. However, if Europe is to match global competition and deliver on the Gigabit Society objectives, policy and regulatory conditions need to provide markets with ambitious pro-investment rules and increased certainty, moving away from interventionist regulatory dynamics.

Today, unfortunately, there are no signals that the Code will deliver on its original ambition and support the investments required. On the contrary, there has been little progress on vital measures to facilitate 5G roll-out with stronger spectrum governance and longer license duration. The Code also falls short of supporting successful fibre investment models, which require strong incentives for co-investment and commercial agreements alike. Similarly, the Code fails to provide more space for innovation and consistent standards of consumer protection for equivalent services. What is more, analysts and investors are worried about additional ex-ante regulatory constraints in the field of so-called oligopolies and price regulation, while the European Commission originally proposed more regulatory certainty and better investment conditions.

We therefore call on the European Institutions to urgently address the shortcomings of the current debate by re-injecting the needed ambition into the process. Otherwise, even the existing EU Directives would deliver more predictability and certainty.

The Code should usher European citizens and businesses into the digital future, enabling the European Union to be in lead of the vigorous transformation we will experience in the next 10 years. We believe that European lawmakers should not accept a text falling short of the initial objectives. For this reason, no agreement should be given to any legislative measures delaying digital investment.

We remain keen to continue engaging in the debate and we stand ready to support the European Institutions in restoring the initial spirit of the reform. Europe must not miss this defining opportunity to lead digital transformation and ignite growth.


A1 Telekom Austria Group - Alejandro Plater, CEO

A1 Slovenija d.d. - Dejan Turk, CEO

Altice Portugal - Alexandre Fonseca, CEO

BH Telecom - Mirsad Zaimović, CEO        

BT Group - Gavin Patterson, CEO              

Cisco - Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO

CYTA Cyprus - Michalis Achilleos, CEO

Crnogorski Telekom A.D - Nikola Ljušev, CEO       

Deutsche Telekom AG - Tim Höttges, CEO             

Ericsson - Börje Ekholm, President and CEO         

GO - Nikhil Patil, CEO

Hrvatski Telekom d.d. - Davor Tomašković, CEO 

KPN - Maximo Ibarra, Chairman and CEO

Magyar Telekom - Christopher Mattheisen, CEO

Makedonski Telekom A.D. - Andreas Elsner, CEO

Mobiltel EAD -  Alexander Dimitrov, CEO

Nokia - Rajeev Suri, President and CEO

Orange - Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO  

OTE Group - Michael Tsamaz, CEO           

Proximus - Dominique Leroy, CEO            

Qualcomm Incorporated - Cristiano Amon, President      

Slovak Telekom a. s. and T-Mobile Czech Republic a. s. - Milan Vašina, CEO            

Swisscom - Urs Schaeppi, CEO

TDC Group - Pernille Erenbjerg, CEO       

Telefónica S.A. - José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman and CEO

Telekom Albania - Dimitris Blatsios, CEO

Telekom Romania - Miroslav Majoroš, CEO

Telekom Slovenije - Rudolf Skobe, CEO  

Telenor Group - Sigve Brekke, President and CEO              

Telia Company - Johan Dennelind, President and CEO     

TIM - Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Executive Chairman

T-Mobile Austria GmbH - Andreas Bierwirth, CEO              

T-Mobile Polska S.A. - Andreas Maierhofer, CEO

VIPnet d.o.o. - Jiří Dvorjančanský, CEO

Vivacom - Atanas Dobrev, CEO


[1] COM (2015) 192, A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52015DC0192&from=EN

[2] IDATE-ETNO, Annual Economic Report, 2017, https://etno.eu/datas/publications/economic-reports/ETNO%20Annual%20Economic%20Report%202017%20(final%20version%20web).pdf

PDF available here

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