- Working groups
Brussels, 25 May 2017. Open Letter of leading telecom CEOs ahead of the Telecommunications Council (9/6/2017)
PDF available here.
Brussels, 25 May 2017
Open Letter of leading telecom CEOs ahead of the Telecommunications Council (9/6/2017)
Our companies are the main investors in connectivity networks and the main European providers of digital services. We write to express our concern regarding the current direction of the debate on the Electronic Communications Code and on the ePrivacy Regulation. The initial strategic focus on investment and innovation appears lost and current developments risk hampering the ability of companies to deliver for European citizens and businesses. We believe that growth, employment, investment and contribution to taxation are at stake.
Digital reform is more than just a telecoms challenge. It is about the future of European manufacturing, connected driving, Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare and the future of citizenship at large. The challenges are historic and strategic for Europe as a whole: we need to launch 5G, to push fibre deeper into networks and to develop a wealth of new services and applications to serve European consumers.
As CEOs of Europe’s leading communications companies, we share the ambition of creating a European Gigabit Society and of unleashing the power of the Digital Single Market. Our companies proudly serve hundreds of millions of Europeans every day and we deploy €30bn/year in mobile and fixed networks as well as digital platforms. We are responsible for over 70% of the total fixed investment in the EU, we employ 80% of the telecoms workforce and we are proud to be a major contributor to public budgets through taxation.
If we look at the EU as a whole, all the efforts listed above will not be enough to meet the Gigabit Society targets and achieve a single market for digital. Already today, investors estimate that, thanks to a better regulatory environment, other regions of the world are out-investing Europe 2 to 1 in digital networks. The same applies to digital services, with a flat growth rate of our digital ecosystem as opposed to strongly positive trends in Asia and North America. This should be a reason for alarm and action, especially in the context of global competition and fast-paced technological change.
We therefore urge EU ministers to realign digital reforms with their initial objectives and to ensure that we can boost consumer choice and enable European businesses with new, powerful networks and innovative services. To this end, we call for Member States to:
Our companies will continue working with the whole digital ecosystem to make sure we deliver the Gigabit Society and Digital Single Market vision. We call on EU governments to support Europe’s digital economy with ambitious measures, based on unequivocally pro-innovation and pro-investment measures. This will benefit European consumers and it will constitute a major enabler of global competitiveness and economic growth.
Chairman and CEO, KPN
President and CEO, Telenor Group
Acting CEO, Go Malta
President and CEO, Telia Company
Paul (Boulos H.B.) Doany
CEO, Türk Telekom
CEO, Bulgarian Telecommunications Company
CEO, Deutsche Telekom
José María Alvarez Pallete
Chairman and CEO, Telefónica
CEO, BT Group
CEO, Telekom Austria Group
Chairman and CEO, Orange
Executive Chairman, Telecom Italia
PDF available here.