The European Commission has outlined its plan for a single EU telecoms market. The package calls for the abolition of roaming rates within the EU, spectrum assignment to be coordinated across the continent, consumer rights to be harmonised across Europe, EU-wide protection of net neutrality and simpler rules across the EU to enable companies invest more and cross borders with their offerings.
Remember having to hang up the land line to use the internet? Or before that, when hours of entertainment could be derived from a simple game of Pong? Typewriters, fax machines, floppy disks, car phones and beepers were all the rage at some point in time. The Informer, like Pepperidge Farm, remembers.
European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, this week outlined her intentions to transform education across the EU using information and communications technology (ICT). Kroes, along with the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, plan to unveil new proposals to reform education in Europe next week.
The European Commission has allowed nine Member States further postponements to their obligation to make 800MHz spectrum available for mobile broadband use. All states originally agreed to meet a January 2013 deadline but a number have yet to comply. There were 14 requests for further postponements, accounting for half of all Member States.
The European mobile telecoms industry is now at the maturity stage of its life cycle. While the introduction of LTE is still a relatively recent event, there is limited revenue growth and consolidation is starting to set in. Rather than being challengers, in some ways mobile operators themselves have started to look like the old fixed line operators at the start of the telecoms market liberalisation in the 1980s.
The European Union’s antitrust regulators have raided the offices of several European mobile operator groups. Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that it was one of the firms raided, while Orange and Telefonica were reportedly targeted as well. The operators are suspected of abusing their dominant position in the market.
The European Commission has asked Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), to amend or withdraw its plans to make mobile termination rates (MTR) for operators in the country more than 80 per cent higher than most other EU member states.
Neelie Kroes has expanded on her plans to create a single telecoms market within the EU and has confirmed that she does not want to get rid of national regulators.
Despite all households in the European Union now having access to basic internet connectivity, significant challenges remain before the same can be said of high-speed services, not least of which is the high cost of wiring up rural areas, according to UK research firm Point Topic.
The chief government and regulatory affairs officer of GSMA, Tom Phillips, has responded to last week’s speech from Neelie Kroes, in which the European commissioner for the digital agenda called for the creation of a single European telecoms market by describing her comments as “unfortunate”.
“All the single markets! All the single markets! All the single markets! All the single markets!” was the tune Steely Neelie was humming along to this week when she issued a rallying cry calling for the formation of a single EU telecoms market before the next European election.(The Informer notes that the phrase ‘rallying cry’ is used a LOT when Kroes is written about. Google it and you’ll see. It makes the Informer wonder if she has an actual rallying cry; a special sort of bloodcurdling squawk or yowl that indicates the imminence of some kind of sector reform.)
The vice president for the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, Neelie Kroes, has issued a call for the formation of a single EU telecoms market before the next European election. The European Commissioner voiced her intent to oversee the reform of the EU telecoms market by Easter 2014, claiming that it would be good for Europe’s economy.
Providing super-fast broadband to the whole of the European Union could be much less expensive than previously thought, according to UK research firm Point Topic, which estimates that the whole economic area could be served for €80bn – less than a third of the €270bn estimated by the European Commission in its Digital Agenda.
After a tense few days of wrangling over budget cuts by Europe’s political leaders, it was scarcely good news for the €9.2bn pot of funding for broadband networks championed by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda.
Cutting funding to broadband infrastructure will harm Europe’s economic competitiveness, industry lobby group ETNO has warned. In a letter to European Union leaders, Europe’s Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO), which consist of major European operators such as Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia, warned against cuts to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Rural areas in the UK will soon receive a ‘superfast’ broadband boost after the UK government received approval to pump £530m into its Broadband Development UK (BDUK) upgrade scheme.
An extensive new report from the European Commission has found that EU citizens, businesses and innovators are generating enough demand for digital products and services, but are being let down by insufficient investment in information and communication technologies (ICT).
Vodafone has launched a new roaming package for subscribers, ahead of the EU’s new legislation aimed at lowering roaming costs, which comes into force July 1. Vodafone’s UK pay-monthly customers, including business travellers on standard price plans, are now able to use their existing UK price plan for voice, text and mobile internet in Europe for £3 per day.
Neelie Kroes: vice president, European Commission for the Digital Agenda: “We are putting Europe at the forefront of the data revolution”
Neelie Kroes is the vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda and is delivering the opening keynote speech of the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. We take a look at the nature of her role and the industry topics with which she is closely associated.
Telefónica has announced a new pan-European data roaming tariff for customers, which it claims is up to ten times cheaper than the new price caps approved by the European Parliament this week.
Customers on the Movistar and O2 networks will be able to use up to 25MB of data whilst abroad, anywhere across the 27 European Union member states, for just €2 per day.