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Spectrum Policy: new technologies need new leadership if Europe is to succeed

”At the start of negotiations between Parliament and the Council on spectrum allocation, we all have to answer the fundamental question: do we want Europe to be the number one economy? Do we want Europe to be in the lead in mobile Internet and broadband or not? I want the Member States to respond to these questions”, said EPP Group Vice-Chairman Gunnar Hökmark delivering the keynote speech at the 6th Annual European Spectrum Management Conference in Brussels.

”If we want Europe to be number one, we need to take the lead regarding spectrum allocation for mobile data services. Those who prefer us to be number three or four should say so. I myself will do what I can in order to lay the ground for a new European leadership. If you want to change you need to change”, Mr Hökmark continued.

We can see a rapid, seismic shift in the global economy. A rapid development of the Internet, of broadband and of all the services that are being developed in this context. An even more rapid integration of the Internet and broadband in the regular economy, making ICT not only a strategic sector but a driving force of the whole economy, determining the competitiveness and the dynamics of modern knowledge economies.

”By taking the lead in mobile internet we can secure not only leadership for the telecom industry but also regarding the digital agenda that can transform the European economy into one market, making full benefit of the fact that the EU is already the biggest economy but so far with fragmented markets”, underlined Gunnar Hökmark, who is the European Parliament’s Rapporteur on Spectrum Policy.

Leadership regarding broadband and mobile data services means leadership regarding the digital market with all its new services and increased competition and can create a momentum for achieving one internal market for the European union, making the EU not only the biggest economy but also the biggest market in the world. The lead in ICT, mobile broadband and Internet will give Europe the lead in new services, new applications, new technologies and new competitiveness in the economy as a whole.

If we want Europe to be number one, we must make sure that we have number one opportunities for taking the lead in the telecom sector. We must be in the lead creating room for the Googles, Facebooks, Yahoos, Apples and Blackberries of tomorrow, with companies staying and developing worldwide in Europe.

”We must be in the lead in the allocation of frequencies, making sure that we have the best connectivity, capacity and speed for new services and the most modern economy. Bridging the digital divide. Paving the way for transnational services. Creating the opportunities for the highest speeds possible. That’s what we can do as politicians’, concluded Gunnar Hökmark MEP.