The heads of Europe’s major MNOs and the GSMA have issued an open letter to the attendees of this week’s Informal Ministerial Meeting, which will convene European Union leaders in Talinn to discuss preparations for the emergence of 5G, and reform of the European Electronic Communication Code.
The letter acknowledges the need for reform, but calls for some key provisions. Perhaps the most important among these is a minimum licensing duration of 25 years, along with “a strong presumption of renewal.” This would provide the telecoms with incentives to make deep investments, and of course would allow them to comfortably solidify their positions in the 5G market. Related to this is their demand for the ability to share spectrum voluntarily, an aspiration that could help some MNOs to cut costs.
The mobile sector leaders argue that such measures need to be taken to help them stay competitive as 5G technology emerges around the world, and warn that failure to set up the right regulatory landscape “will not only impact the mobile industry, but also adjacent sectors that increasingly rely on connectivity”. Indeed, with the emergence of the Internet of Things, such “adjacent sectors” will comprise quite a large part of the economy.
The letter is signed by the heads of telecoms including Vodafone, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom, and by Mats Granryd, the GSMA’s Director General.