The heads of 30 telecoms companies, including Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Ericsson, once again expressed worries about proposed changes to digital communications regulations.
In a letter to European commissioners and the president of the European Union (EU), the telecom chiefs said planned changes to the Electronic Communications Code will be a disincentive to investment, Financial Times reported.
Proposed amendments include increasing the power of national regulators, amid concerns over the power wielded by large companies (so-called oligopolies) in Europe.
Operators and vendors had broadly backed the European Commission’s update of telecoms and competition rules first proposed in 2016, amid a push to reinvigorate the industry.
However, when the European Parliament proposed changes in 2017, telecoms companies warned they run contrary to EU goals to establish a single digital market across the region.
Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, said at the time the proposed changes risked jeopardising the broader long-term societal and economic benefits it was designed to deliver.
Negotiations regarding the code have been going on ever since.
“If Europe is to match global competition and deliver on the Gigabit Society objectives, policy and regulatory conditions need to provide markets with ambitious pro-investment rules and increased certainty, moving away from interventionist regulatory dynamics,” the executives stated in their letter.
Meanwhile Gavin Patterson, chief of BT, said: “The code is Europe’s chance to really support fibre and 5G, but it will only deliver if it creates the right incentives and regulatory certainty for us [and other infrastructure providers] to commit to the significant investments that are needed”.
In March telecoms lobby group ETNO hit out at an agreement struck between EU countries and lawmakers late last week to free up spectrum for 5G, arguing the deal lacked ambition.