ETNO, GSMA, DigitalEurope, Cable Europe among those accusing EU of being too timid to adopt pro-investment regulations.

The European Union on Wednesday incurred the collective wrath of a group of industry associations concerned about its supposed lack of ambition when it comes to 5G.

The group, which includes Cable Europe, DigitalEurope, ETNO, and the GSMA, among others, said in a joint statement that they are concerned that discussions in the EU Parliament and Council about the proposed Electronic Communications Code (ECC) and the ePrivacy Regulation favour a "timid approach that will do little to improve Europe’s chances of success.

"Currently, the outlook for innovators appears quite grim," they said.

The statement was issued less than two weeks after an open letter signed by the CEOs of some of Europe’s biggest telcos warned the EU that proposed amendments to the ECC and ePrivacy regulation could put future investment at risk.

The ECC, unveiled by the European Commission in September 2016, proposed 25-year spectrum licences, and strict rules requiring the effective and efficient use of airwaves. It also calls for EU-wide coordination when it comes to assigning frequencies with the goal of improving mobile coverage across the bloc.

The proposals have encountered resistance in some quarters of the EU Parliament though, as some member states have reportedly argued that 25-year spectrum licences will make it harder for frequency allocation to keep pace with advances in technology.

The industry bodies on Wednesday reiterated calls for pro-investment, pro-innovation regulatory reform in order to encourage network rollout and the launch of exciting new digital services.

"5G is one of the engines of European innovation, a tool to ensure improved consumer experience across industries, as well as a crucial enabler of the continent’s competitiveness," the group said.

They called on the EU to "maintain a high level of ambition to ensure that the strategic 5G objectives remain at the core of Europe’s digital reforms."


COCIR – European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and healthcare IT industry
Cable Europe – represents the cable industry
Developers Alliance – represents the software industry
DigitalEurope – represents Europe’s digital technology sector
ETNO – the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association
GSMA Europe – mobile industry association