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GSMA Calls for Broader, More Ambitious Reform to Modernise Telecoms Regulation and Drive Growth in Europe

Following today’s Telecoms Council meeting, the GSMA calls on Member States and the new European Parliament to urge the European Commission to accelerate work on a broader reform of the EU’s regulatory framework for electronic communications. The GSMA believes this should focus on more harmonisation across Member States, the elimination of outdated and unnecessary layers of regulation and the application of consistent rules irrespective of the technology being used, who is providing the service, or where individuals are located.

Ensure the Open Internet Works for All

According to the GSMA, the European Parliament’s proposals to restrict traffic management to a very narrow set of circumstances would constrain the development of new services, limit consumer choice and restrict the way operators need to ensure the Internet continues to work for everybody.

“We urge Member States to work with the Parliament and the Commission to agree provisions on the open Internet that work for consumers, businesses and the whole European economy,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “With regard to traffic management and specialised services, it is important to establish high level and future proof principles rather than develop detailed and prescriptive rules that limit innovation, curb commercial flexibility and consign consumers and potential developers of new services to the same, regulated Internet experience.”

Support Wider Spectrum Harmonisation

The GSMA would also encourage Member States to constructively explore the Commission’s proposals on further harmonisation and coordination of spectrum policy, which would make a significant contribution to addressing today’s fragmented and inconsistent approach across the European Union. Broad and bold reform is needed with a focus on the timely release of new capacity that is harmonised across the single market and allocated with the objective of driving long-term growth and investment. A concerted push to harmonise and coordinate aspects of spectrum policy can provide more certainty, as operators plan medium to long-term network deployments.

Tackle Regulatory Uncertainty

The current process addresses critical issues but it must also be noted that it has to be integrated with existing reviews and legislation. For example, the GSMA believes it is important that Member States challenge the rationale of changing the current roaming Regulation before its review date in 2016. The GSMA supports regulatory certainty and market-driven solutions for roaming and believes the impact and implications of further regulatory change at this stage should be fully assessed.

“The immediate priority is to ensure that the proposed Telecoms Single Market Regulation on the open Internet, spectrum and roaming is adjusted in the interests of Europe’s citizens, its businesses and growth across the region,” continued Bouverot. “However we must not lose sight of the need to prepare further ambitious and bold policy and regulatory reform to maximise the telecoms industry’s contribution to Europe’s economy and society.”

-ENDS-

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

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