14 February 2011

EU - Delivering solutions on roaming and radio spectrum

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes told the world’s largest mobile industry conference the industry needs to invest more in new and better broadband networks. Kroes said she wanted to start a debate about this challenge. "This lack of investment will choke you in the coming years and hurt Europe in general. Some people say that we will be crushed by the Far East on production and beaten by the Far West on content. I am not willing to write Europe off in either of those fields but we have to take measures to respond to these major challenges. And I am sure of one thing – the domain we can influence most directly is our networks, and if we do not get that right, the future for all digital business in Europe will be bleak!" Kroes said finalising the proposed EU Radio Spectrum Policy Programme is critical for expanding wireless internet in Europe. She also announced that the Commission's latest consultation on roaming has confirmed that competition in roaming services is not yet sufficiently strong and that there is "strong support for continuing price regulation.". However, "we cannot exclude that different approaches may need to be implemented ... while I doubt that time may in itself solve our problems, it seems difficult to think that we can maintain price regulation forever." Mobile World Congress Barcelona, 14 February 2011.