Tag Archive for: Telecoms

Charting the Connectivity Landscape: challenges, investments, and the EU’s vision for a digital future

In 2023, the challenges for the connectivity sector in Europe were dramatically highlighted. The European Commission initiated an exploratory consultation, underlining the crucial need to review the existing regulatory framework to attract more investment in infrastructure in response to the profound changes in practices and to the development of innovative technologies, which are affecting the financial balance of the ecosystem.

Very high-capacity networks capable of processing massive amounts of data are needed for the EU to remain competitive, but electronic communications operators today face growing economic pressure. Digital markets are constantly changing, and the need for investment to keep pace with these developments is exploding. For example, incoming mobile traffic in France increased 18-fold between 2012 and 2021 and is expected to further increase 6-fold by 2030. Faced with an expected deficit of nearly 200 billion euros in investments to achieve the connectivity objectives of the Digital Decade by 2030, the industry must be supported by the European Union through a proactive and ambitious policy plan, spreading the investment effort across the entire value chain to ensure the resilience of an essential infrastructure at the heart of our economy.

The Digital Network Act is expected in 2024, as announced by Internal Market Commissioner Breton, who rightly reminded that cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure is a fundamental pillar for growth, innovation and job creation. Among the priorities there is the need to adapt the regulatory framework to reduce costs and facilitate the rapid deployment of very high-capacity networks. The Gigabit Infrastructure Act proposed by the Commission in February 2023 was a promising start, but its ambition needs to be confirmed in the ongoing negotiations.

Finally, the green transition is affecting all sectors, including connectivity. Telecom operators seek to reach sustainability goals, but the success of these initiatives requires a global commitment towards a more optimised use of networks from the digital sector as a whole.

With the upcoming EU elections, 2024 will be a crucial year to make the connectivity aspirations of the European Union a reality. The announced “connectivity package” could be an essential instrument to overcome the challenges and secure the future of the sector, ensuring the sustainability of our infrastructures for the benefit of European citizens and businesses.

Romain Bonenfant
EuroISPA Board Member
Managing Director, Fédération Française des Télécoms