Europe’s operators invest through the pain barrier

They may rail against an unfriendly investment environment, but Europe’s network operators keep digging deeper to pay for the likes of 4G and superfast broadband. A recent report from the European Commission said EU telecoms revenue declined in 2013 yet investment grew.

Even arch-critics of Europe’s regulators – Cesar Alierta and Vittorio Colao, the respective chief executives of Telefonica and Vodafone Group – have sanctioned enormous increases in network spending. (more…)

EU roaming: a race to the bottom?

First published on Mobile World Live, 4 October 2013

Getting rid of EU premium roaming charges sounds great for the consumer, but is it good for the mobile industry? European travellers, bruised by ‘bill shock’, are unlikely to care about that. If they can pay the same rates abroad as they do at home, what is there not to like?

There’s an argument, though, that the EU digital chief’s roaming proposals will slow down investment in the region’s mobile networks – the very thing Kroes wants to avoid. (more…)

Kroes stirs up net neutrality debate – part II

Neelie Kroes, EU digital commissioner, may well be an operator nemesis when it comes to slashing EU roaming rates. On the subject of net neutrality, however, she appears to be taking a pragmatic approach that maybe – just maybe – has appeal to both operators and consumers alike.

After saying at the end of May she was keen on “guaranteeing” net neutrality – which no doubt sent shivers up the spines of many in the mobile industry – Kroes added more detail in a later speech (4 June) on where she thinks legislation could usefully apply to preserving the ‘open internet’. (more…)