European Competitive Telecommunications Association

What rules for Europe's digital highways?: New study by Analysys Mason

Brussels, 22 September 2015: MEP Michał Boni (EPP, PL) hosted a working event today on the digital single market and the future of telecoms regulation, at which a new study was launched by Analysys Mason. The debate and study could not be timelier as the European Commission has just launched its public consultation on this issue.

The study found that competition and strong pro-competitive regulation will be needed for the futurein order to drive significant network investments that will have to take place up to 2020 in order for the EU to meet its high speed broadband targets. 

The research reveals that pro-competitive regulation is a win-win for end-users and the telecoms industry. Vibrant broadband competition has led to lower, affordable prices for end-users and at the same time to higher revenues for the telecoms industry as a whole. The revenues of the telecoms sector grew despite falling prices because affordability led to much higher broadband take-up by end-users.

"Connected cars, eHealth, smart cities are all developing at unprecedented speed. Machine2Machine (M2M) and IoT are no longer future trends but the "now and here”. This includes a €99bn savings potential in health care costs by 2017 according estimates quoted in the OECD Digital Outlook 2015. We absolutely need to get the foundations right for this digital revolution – and this requires robust high-quality infrastructure” highlighted Hubertus von Roenne, Chairman of ECTA.

While some voices are calling for a loosening of the rules on access regulation -claiming that too much competition is killing investments- the conclusions of the study by Analysys Mason clearly refute such unfounded allegations: "access regulation has not hindered investments in NGA by the incumbents but on the contrary in many cases alternative operators […] appear to have driven incumbents to invest. In addition to that "when alternative operators have been the first to invest in fibre networks, incumbents have then responded with their own investment plans” emphasized James Allen, Partner at Analysys Mason.

We should consider what kind of framework for the digital development, also for incentivising investments is needed, regulatory and non- regulatory framework. We need the strong political will for building the Digital Union, and at the same time we need stronger cooperation among the European stakeholders to tackle digital challenge. This study gives an interesting perspective on how we can fully connect our society. We need to adopt a fact-based policy as our decisions will make a huge difference from an end-user’s perspective”, underlined MEP Michał Boni.

Erzsébet Fitori, Director of ECTA stressed that "alternative operators are often the first to invest in new high speed networks, which triggers investments by others. Access regulation is the enabler of network investments by challengers and is therefore a key trigger for high-speed network investments overall. There is no trade-off between competition and investments nor between investments and affordable prices. On the contrary, competitive pressure has a triggering effect on efficient investments and is the best way to ensure high quality services for end-users at affordable prices”. 

The most important challenge of the next regulatory framework is to enable investments also by innovative and agile telco start-ups.
We should not forget that the mavericks are the ones who constantly innovate and provide first-class services to the end-users. Modifying the rules in a way, which could undermine competition and reinforce former monopolies risks undoing the benefits of market liberalisation and undermining the European digital revolution, including dragging down European start-ups.

Click here for a copy of the study (PDF 1.7MB)


ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association - is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile. 
Aurélie Bladocha, Public Affairs Manager : +32 478 78 61 00/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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