GSMA sets out 7-step plan to boost European mobile sector

Tuesday 31 May 2016 | 09:01 CET | News

Europe needs to implement a fundamental change in its approach to telecoms policy if it wants to regain a leading position in mobile, according to the GSMA. As demand for mobile data rises across the continent with the growth in 4G and mobile technology progresses towards 5G, the association has set out seven policy steps it believes are necessary to attract investment and promote the rollout of advanced mobile solutions across industries and public services. These include changing the objectives of the EU telecoms framework to target investment and sustainable competition in the long-term interests of consumers. The GSMA also urged policymakers to further deregulate mobile services and refocus policy in relation to spectrum, including the removal of conditions in spectrum licences, such as wholesale access obligations.

Other recommended policy actions include launching an ambitious mobile cost reduction initiative and focusing on what drives high performance, with the GSMA calling on the European Commission to examine what can be done to further lower the costs of mobile network deployment, and urging BEREC to lead in developing a better understanding of the factors needed to produce high performing markets that meet the needs of consumers.

The industry association also believes networks should be allowed to meet new demands by providing flexibility rather than regulations that inhibit innovation, raise costs and harm consumers. Finally, the GSMA calls on European policymakers to ensure spectrum rights are simplified and clarified to promote investment mobile is prioritised in addressing wider goals and delivering public services to citizens. “If subsidies are required to meet objectives that benefit society as a whole, then they should be met from general taxation,” said the GSMA.

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