19 Feb 2018

Joint Statement of DIGITALEUROPE, ETNO and the GSMA on spectrum reform for 5G

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl – Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE, Lise Fuhr – Director General of ETNO and Afke Schaart – VP and Head of Europe at the GSMA, issued the following joint statement:

“It is the time for bold decisions on Europe’s 5G future. It is the time for shifting from political narratives to regulatory delivery. It is the time to take credible and decisive action on spectrum reform in the EU.

As legislators negotiate the most critical elements of the new Electronic Communications Code, the objective and focus should be on how Europe, together, can achieve the Gigabit Society objectives and a truly connected continent for our citizens and industries. Competitiveness is at stake: the US – with their unlimited license duration system – is currently out-investing Europe 2-to-1 in 5G. South Korea has already built a trial 5G network and China is injecting unprecedented resources in infrastructures. If Europe is to remain globally competitive in the long term, we must ensure that SMEs, start-ups and citizens are provided with cutting-edge networks across the whole Continent.

The Electronic Communications Code is our only opportunity to accomplish tangible progress towards 5G. To this end, it is crucial that the legislators maintain their focus on concrete achievements in spectrum reform.

While we welcome recent progress in the discussions, in particular the agreement to facilitate small cell deployment, reform will not be credible and investment-conducive unless we achieve an effective peer-review system as well as increased certainty with longer spectrum licenses.

DIGITALEUROPE, ETNO and the GSMA are ready to support the Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission for ambitious and concrete regulatory delivery.”

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