28 May, 2020

Building a digitally-enabled recovery

Executive Summary

This paper offers unique insights on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Europe’s top tech business: the telecom sector[1]. As we collectively work to re-design Europe’s vision and strategic plans for the coming years, ETNO puts forward facts, figures, analysis and ideas on how to reboot the EU socio-economic engine by leveraging telecom networks and digital services.

  1. The coronavirus crisis and the corresponding recession are testing not only Europe’s ambitions on digital networks and services, but also its policy and regulatory framework. A fresh look should be given on maintaining and boosting Europe’s investment capacity in new telecom networks and digital services.

  2. There is no recovery without ambitious plans for deep and widespread digitalization. Digitalization is the “missing” link that connects Europe’s recovery and growth plans with the EU Green Deal. We need concerted and bold effort to increase investment in 5G and fibre networks and ensure uptake of digital technologies by all industrial sectors, administrations and across all EU countries.

  3. The building site for Europe’s digital backbone is still open: the first step is to support and boost investment in 5G and fibre networks. We propose to develop a strategic focus on the following 4 key priorities:
    1. reduce the cost of roll-out (p.7)
    2. EU-wide good practices in spectrum allocation and use (p.8)
    3. align competition rules and digital aspirations (p.9)
    4. focus on inclusive connectivity (p.9)

  4. Fostering the European digital ecosystem, digital uptake and demand is as important as supporting supply. We propose to develop a strategic focus on the following 4 key areas:
    1. deeply digitalise Europe’s SMEs and public administration (p.10)
    2. involve consumers and promote adequate awareness and education on technology (p.11)
    3. pave the way for the creation of European digital leaders (p.12)
    4. unleash Europe’s potential in data-driven services (p.12)

If you wish to stay tuned on ETNO’s updates on technology, telecoms and tech policy, you can subscribe to our #ETNODigital Newsletter. If you wish to discuss our ideas or get more information and insights, you can get in touch with our Team of policy and technology experts.

[1] Forbes Digital 100 Index, 2019: of the 17 Europe-based brands, 11 are telecom operators and telecom equipment manufacturers.

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