European giants demand action on streaming players - Mobile World Live

European giants demand action on streaming players

14 FEB 2022

The CEOs of Vodafone Group, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange issued an urgent plea for European regulators to force large content platforms to contribute to the cost of the digital infrastructure delivering their services.

An open letter signed by Telefonica chairman and CEO Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hottges, Vodafone chief Nick Read and outgoing Orange chairman and CEO Stephane Richard, pointed to the ever-increasing demands on networks and stark differences in profitability of businesses delivering and creating services.

The quartet noted video streaming, gaming and social media content originating from a few digital platforms accounted for 70 per cent of network traffic, with the major players continually pushing higher-quality streams.

They added these companies were profiting from “hyperscaling business models at little cost while network operators shoulder the required investments in connectivity” at a time when their own retail markets were “in perpetual decline in terms of profitability”.

The letter echoes grievences operator executives have highlighted a number of times, with the inability to make a viable return on network investments cited as putting further infrastructure development and service quality at risk.

Pointing to a broad European Commission pledge made in January 2022 to ensure all market players contribute to the cost of public services and infrastructure, the chiefs “urgently call upon legislators to introduce rules at European Union level to make this principle a reality”.

“The clock is ticking loudly, particularly given the huge investments still required to achieve the connectivity targets for 2030 set by the European Commission…Without an equitable solution, we will not get there”.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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