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Gunnar Hökmark Key Note Speech: Are we doing the best we can?

At the annual ECTA Regulatory Conference in Brussels Mr. Hökmark asked the question

”Are we doing the best we can?”

If Europe is going to become the number one in a global digital economy we are not doing the best we can was the message of Mr. Hökmark.

”The 3G was modernisation, the 4G digitalisation, the 5G will be industrialisation with consequences on all industries”

• We need to implement already-taken decisions regarding the telecommunications market. The decisions about spectrum allocation need to be implemented. The rules for competition need to be respected. National regulators need to allow incumbents to be challenged by new entrants. The lower the prices, the capacities better and the penetration highe,r the more competition there is. If the European Commission is failing in decisiveness here, it doesn’t matter what new targets we will set.

• We need to allocate more spectrum in a European coordinated manner. The 800Mhz band must be opened up in all countries but now is the time to act regarding the 700Mhz band. Europe needs to secure that we have the best capacities, highest speeds and available resources facing the rapid increase of mobile Internet and new generations of services. Other parts of the spectrum must be reallocated for mobile broadband and WIFI in order to secure sufficient frequencies for growing use, if we want to be the growing economy we are talking about. Terrestrial broadcasting can be reallocated to more suitable parts of the spectrum at the same time, as on-demand TV will be given new and better opportunities by the internet.

• New frequencies and new nets should be opened up for European services and for networks operating all over the EU. This could be done by pan-European operators or national operators cooperating in joint European networks. By the development of shared nets and virtual nets we can quite quickly achieve European networks without roaming but with a better scale of economy attracting more investments, not only in the operators’ networks, but also in the services made possible by the capacities of tomorrow. The costs for roaming can only be eliminated by eliminating the need for roaming. The focus for the single telecommunications market must be on legislation for wholesale operators’ access to one another’s nets and agreements’ that will not squeeze out smaller operators, but enable them to compete and to serve their customers all over Europe.

Leadership in internet services, broadband speeds and capacities and innovative telecommunications are the key to global leadership for the European Union.

”It is time to take concrete steps forward. It is time to do the best we can.”