Neven Dilkov – founder and CEO of Neterra, participated in a meeting of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association CEO Council (ecta CEO Council) with Mrs Margrethe Vestager – Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) and Commissioner for Competition.
Neven Dilkov is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the organization.
Participants discussed the challenges faced by competing alternative telecom operators in Europe and their crucial role in achieving the goals of the digital decade.
"ecta, representing the telecom industry, is one of the industries expected to meet the goals set by the President of the European Commission – Mrs Ursula von der Leyen in December 2019 – to achieve digital transformation, to ensure and enhance European technological sovereignty.
Today, the world of technology is extremely dynamic. New technologies and services are emerging all the time. Markets are changing, but one thing remains the same: competition and innovation stimulate market development and ultimately improve people’s lives," said Neven Dilkov.
He added that competition is the best engine for investment, investment is needed to achieve European ambitious goals, and ecta members are living proof of this principle.
"Some of us invest up to 30% of our revenue in CAPEX to ensure that we are ahead of the market. When we invest, other small and large operators immediately follow us. ecta members are committed and engaged to make Europe fit for the digital age and the development of the gigabit society. We are pillars of the good practices in the whole digital industry, offering a large variety of products and services in efficient way to empower citizens, businesses and bring Europe forward," commented ecta’s Chairman.
Neven gave the floor to the other participants in the meeting, including ecta Director-General Luc Hindryckx and CEOs of European telecommunications companies such as Bouygues Telecom, Colt Technology Services, Drillisch Netz AG, Eurofiber, Group Iliad, Group Masmovil, Transatel and others.
Among others, the ecta captains of the telecom industry raised the following topics:
– Deploy sustainable and secure networks with better territorial coverage and higher productivity, including in rural areas.
– Maintaining the diversity of telecom service providers – small and large.
– Fair allocation of financial resources from various EU programs and public procurement so that they do not focus only on the biggest players.
– Competitive allocation of mobile spectrum, considering the needs of new entrants, to prevent excessive market concentration, as this leads to higher prices and paralysis of infrastructure investment.
– The necessity to maintain a cost-oriented price control on access wholesale products and stable copper prices for the transition to fibre.
– Reducing the tax burden on the telecommunications industry.
– Co-investment agreements that flourish because of economic incentives rather than a carrot of deregulation and the risk of premature and ill-conceived deregulation.
ecta members discussed with the EC Executive Vice-President Vestager also the environmental and economic impact of video traffic, the development of a genuine pan-European Internet of Things market, the reduction of the carbon footprint and the gaps in the regulatory framework to address the possible inaction of a national regulator.
“Listening to you, we must ensure contested markets, as well as supporting and open regulation,” said Mrs Vestager.