On March 14th, CeBIT* opened its show floors to visitors in Hannover, Germany and to quote Oliver Frese, member of the managing board of Deutsche Messe: “It’s the biggest conference stage in the world for every topic concerning digitization”. A topic ranking high on Nokia’s corporate strategic agenda and vital to our vision of being a leader in enabling the human possibilities of technology.
As part of the CeBIT Global Conference, I had the opportunity to attend a panel addressing the state of the Digital Single Market (DSM) in Europe. Alongside industry representatives from Google, Ericsson, Vodafone, the EU Commission and the FTTH (Fiber to the Home Council), we discussed how a single digital agenda will help Europe reap the economic and societal benefits of a connected society in general, and of the Internet of Things in particular.
Commissioner Oettinger, in charge of EU Digital Economy and Society, introduced our panel with an interesting statement: “We want to test 5G technology during the UEFA Euro 2020**”.
We confirmed that Nokia is ready to take up that challenge.
I was delighted to be part of such an important and industry shaping panel discussion. What I found most impressive was the Commission’s openness towards territorial borders that are relevant for culture, language and security but which are irrelevant for digitizing Europe.
We believe that the creation of an investment-conducive environment for the deployment of ultra fast fixed and mobile networks will be a key factor underpinning the success of Europe’s digital policy.
During the panel, I had the opportunity to summarize Nokia’s recommendations for a European 5G and Ultra Broadband plan:
- Ensure spectrum policy which results in adequate spectrum for 4G/LTE and 5G connectivity. It should include clear guidance towards spectrum for rural coverage and for urban capacity in the next 2 years, an extension of spectrum license durations to offer investors more security for continuously investing in state-of-the-art technology and increased availability of unlicensed spectrum to foster innovation.
- Implement light-touch regulation that allows for rise in ARPUs*** to bridge the divide between Europe and other lead markets like the US, and that fosters operator consolidation within the EU to step up the investment envelope.
- Strengthen collaboration between telcos and verticals by putting 5G at the heart of the European vertical sectors reinvigoration. Key examples include reducing emissions and saving people’s lives with connected cars, delivering better, more efficient care via remote healthcare, and time saving measures through connected homes and automation of other tasks that occupy our daily lives. This also means leveraging 5G Private Public Partnership (5G PPP) – making use of the public funding budget of up to €700 million and private investments, which could be as large as €3.5 billion. This is the biggest 5G research program globally.
Of course there is a great deal of work ahead of us, but I left Hannover extremely pleased with the understanding that we are aligned as an industry around the key opportunities and challenges the EU is facing, and how to best and most efficiently address them.
* CeBIT is a German language acronym for Centrum für Büroautomation, Informationstechnologie und Telekommunikation, (“Center for Office Automation, Information Technology and Telecommunication”).
** The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship. The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA.
*** Average revenue per unit
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