European Competitive Telecommunications Association

Tuesday 27 November 2018

08:15-09:15 Registration, morning coffee and networking


Gijs PHOELICH, Chairman, ecta

09:30-11:00 SESSION 1 - The European Electronic Communications Code 

The Code marks possibly the biggest legislative development since market liberalization began in Europe 30 years ago: Connectivity as a distinct regulatory objective, the extension of regulation to over-the-top services, exceptions to the SMP regime in favour of co-investment – arguably there has never been more conceptual innovation in setting the rules for what electronic communications are and how they operate.

But what will these changes translate into on the ground? And how well do the novel elements of the Code integrate with the existing framework? Will the Code and its complex drafting ultimately remain a paper tiger without much practical impact or is it bound to upset existing, well-established regulatory practice? And how will the reframing of institutional responsibilities by reference to 'competent authorities' affect the coherence of future regulatory practice?

This opening session first overviews the finalisation of the legislative process and the remaining steps. Panellists then discuss interpretative issues, institutional aspects and potentially intractable goal conflicts to illustrate the challenges to implementing the EECC and making good on its promises for improved connectivity.

Chair: Ilsa GODLOVITCH, Director, Brussels Office, WIK-Consult 
Jeremy GODFREY, Commissioner of ComReg, incoming BEREC Chair 2019
Martin SCHWIBACH, Director Connectivity in Centers of Technical Expertise, BASF SE
Will SCRIMSHAW, Director, EU Government Affairs, Microsoft
Maxime LOMBARDINI, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Iliad

11:00-11:20 KEYNOTE SPEECH

Andrus ANSIP, Vice President for the Digital Single Market, European Commission 

11:20-11:50 Coffee Break

11:50-13:00 SESSION 2 - The competition challenges in the race to 5G

Expectations towards 5G are high: many assume it will be a paradigm shift providing new growth opportunities in all sectors of the economy. As we move closer to a 5G world, market players and regulators view challenges and opportunities with greater clarity.

A challenge of vital importance will be how to preserve the economic and social benefits that competition has brought for European inclusion and welfare, and prevent attempts at re-monopolisation.

5G applications will significantly increase the competing demands for spectrum to support a variety of emerging use cases, which may require trade-offs between consumer and business interests.

With increasing demand comes the challenge of how to ensure competitive opportunity by ensuring that those who need spectrum can get enough of it to be effective competitors. Easy access to backhaul is another essential challenge as there are more mobile operators than fixed line operators.

In some Member States, part of the spectrum has already been allocated, while in others the national spectrum manager still consults on options such as allocation to verticals, the potential for a neutral (wholesale only) network operator or imposing an obligation to meet all reasonable access requests on spectrum holders.

Chair: Tony LAVENDER, CEO, Plum Consulting
Claire BURY, Deputy Director General, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Dr. Peter GRÜTER, CFO, Fastweb
Antonis TZORTZAKAKIS, Chief Strategy Officer, WIND Hellas
Martin WITT, CEO, 1&1 Telecommunications SE
Bart OSKAM, Chief Operating Officer, Eurofiber Group

13:00-14:30 Networking delegate lunch 

13:45-14:15 Lunchtime Briefing

AOTA (Association of French Alternative Telecom Operators): How to join forces in a hyper-competitive sector to become stronger and more efficient: GENE (David MARCIANO, President, AOTA)

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14:30-14:50 KEYNOTE SPEECH

Didier CASAS, Deputy Director General, Bouygues Télécom

14:50-16:10 - TWIN TRACK - choose one of the following two panel sessions:

SESSION 3a: Investment risk and WACC determination in regulatory proceedings

As politicians and institutions alike herald the Gigabit society for conveying the promise of high-capacity connectivity everywhere and for everyone, operators need to take investment decisions that will make this promise become true.

Particular attention in this context attaches to determining the cost of capital of regulated undertakings, and the question whether investment in high-capacity networks requires an incentivising 'risk premium'. With its consultation on the subject of weighted average cost of capital (WACC), the Commission has outlined key elements of what may become pan-European guidance on this technical and complex subject.

In this panel, discussants examine the role that WACC determination has played in shaping investment choices by incumbent operators and their competitors, the key elements of the Commission`s consultation and possible implications of the consultation results as well as general market developments for European guidance on this subject.

Chair: Gita SORENSEN, Founder Director, GOS Consulting
Przemyslaw KORDASIEWICZ, Deputy Head of Unit, B.3 (Markets), DG CONNECT, European Commission
Pablo FREIRE, CSO, Másmóvil
Nico GROVE, Co-Founder, Di2

SESSION 3b - Emerging EU regulation of online platforms

On 26 April 2018, the European Commission adopted its Proposal for a Regulation ‘on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services’.

The newly developing sector of online platforms is a huge opportunity for the European Digital Single Market and for the Digital Economy.

A fair and transparent relationship between platforms and business users is needed not only to avoid imbalances and legal gaps, but also a condition to promote consumers’ trust in online economy and to develop and maintain sustainable competition in the sector.

How to best approach regulation in this field is discussed in this panel, as well as whether the proposal provides an appropriate response to the problem it has identified.

The questions of scope (should a general approach be favoured or should the regulation proceed sector by sector and look into every specificity?) and definitions also need to be answered, in order not to leave any situation out, but also not to hinder the development of this sector.  

Chair: Felipe FLOREZ DUNCAN, Partner, Oxera
Werner STENGG, Head of Unit "E-Commerce and Online Platforms", DG CONNECT, European Commission
Carel MASKE, Director Competition EMEA, Microsoft
Mario REHSE, Head of Public Affairs, United Internet AG
Olivia REGNIER, Director of EU Regulatory Affairs, Spotify


16:10-16:40 Coffee Break

16:40-17:00 KEYNOTE SPEECH

Johannes GUNGL, CEO for Telecommunications and Postal Services, RTR Austria and BEREC Chair 2018


17:00-18:20 - TWIN TRACK - choose one of the following two panel sessions:

SESSION 4a: Access in the Data Economy

The regulation of access to existing networks has been the key tool in liberalised telecommunications markets to enable the emergence of competition.

In the global data economy that builds on a mixture of private networks and the public Internet, a critical emerging question is whether the significant differences in market presence, resource endowments and processing capacity between the big global entities and their competitors may require similar tools to be devised to enable data competition to flourish in a similar manner.

What are the possibilities and limitations of network access regulation in the data field? To what extent might ex ante regulation be needed to sustain data-driven competitive developments? And what is the role of local connectivity providers in this context?

The panellists discuss these questions in view of an emerging EU data policy against the regulatory reform in electronic communications brought about by the European Electronic Communications Code.

Chair: Dóra PETRANYI, Partner, CEE Managing Director, CMS
Federico MILANI, Deputy Head of Unit, Data Policies and Innovation, DG CONNECT, European Commission
Emmanuel FOREST, Executive Vice-President, European and Institutional Affairs, Bouygues Group
Johan KEETELAAR, Director Public Policy, Facebook
Miapetra KUMPULA-NATRI, MEP, S&D Group and The Social Democratic Party of Finland
Ben WRESCHNER, Chief Economist, Vodafone Group

SESSION 4b - Wholesale Access: how virtual products impact competition

Although the future European Electronic Communication Code emphasises the importance of access to civil infrastructure (e.g. ducts) and passive wholesale products (e.g. fibre unbundling) National Regulatory Authorities tend to mandate more and more virtual wholesale products as remedies to the identified market failure such as bitstream or Virtual Unbundled Local Access (VULA) as a substitute for passive wholesale products.

This is not without consequences for competition as virtual or active products shortfalls are threefold. First, they considerably limit the ability for the access seeker to differentiate the products it offers to the end user. Second, they restrict the quality of service and SLA an access seeker can provide to its end users.

Third, where passive products have flat wholesale prices that are usage independent, the wholesale price of active or virtual products often increases with the usage.

Chair: Mark WILLIAMS, Managing Director, Berkeley Research Group, LLC
Annemarie SIPKES, Director Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services, ACM
Barney LANE, VP, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Colt Technology Services
Federico POGGI, Senior Manager EU Affairs, Fastweb
Harald KAPPER, CEO, Group

18:20-19:30 Cocktail Reception

Continue to Conference Day 2 Agenda >>

Please note: While every reasonable effort will be made to adhere to the advertised package, ECTA reserves the right to change conference content, speakers, dates, sites or location or omit conference features, as it deems necessary without penalty and in such situations no refunds, part refunds or alternative offers shall be made.

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