LIVE FROM DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WORLD, COPENHAGEN: Elisabetta Romano, CEO of Telecom Italia’s global wholesale business Sparkle (pictured), issued a frank call to action for industry players to stop talking about being flexible and agile and finally deliver on it.

During a keynote session the outspoken executive pointed to declining figures in European operator revenue compared with software-focused app companies and highlighted some operational issues facing peers.

“From a revenue perspective in the last five years OTTs are plus 500 per cent; for telcos in the US, flattish; in Europe, minus 7 per cent,” she summised, while also pointing to disparities in market capitalisations and required capex.

“We’ve talked about it for many years, maybe a decade, of being fast and agile and flexible,” she told the audience. “We are probably tired of hearing it and tired of saying it, but it’s really time to deliver something now.”

Romano noted there was a need for measures such as automation and interoperable APIs without the need for a systems integrator. This, she added, would give companies such as Sparkle more options in what they could offer their customers.

The executive highlighted no provider, including her operation, was truly “global” adding international companies needed to work with others to reach everywhere.

She added a “crucial” issue which needed to be solved was the creation of “some kind of aggregation platform which can look at where all the telcos can be seen in a very simply way from the external world”.

“Despite the fact there is a brutal truth: numbers are going back, despite there being a lot of issues to address, things can” be done, she concluded, indicating by working together and taking decisive action, the industry could solve many of the major problems facing it.