Industry Insights - Iskratel
1. 10. 2019

Digital Agenda 2020: How can telecommunications industry help?

In 2010, the European Commission adopted the Europe 2020 strategy, designed to stimulate European economy and prepare it for the challenges of the next decade. The Digital Agenda was one of key initiatives, setting its only goal to encourage member states to better exploit the potential of industry, information and communication technology (ICT), public services, and society as a whole.

Even though the goals of the initiative are still not fully met, we can already say that one of its greatest successes has been to put an end to roaming charges. European citizens can now freely communicate via their mobile phones and devices wherever in the EU they are, without worrying about additional and often high tariffs. Subscription plans took a similar path, as from last year, the Europeans can watch their favourite TV series or listen to the music while traveling across the EU.

And somewhere along with these changes there were also more specific targets the EU set itself to reach, such as that by 2020, at least half of the EU population will be using the internet for shopping, and half will be using e-government services. To make that possible, Europe 2020 specifies:
  • Every household in the EU to have access to fast broadband (30 Mbps or more) by 2020, and 
  • Half of them to have access to ultra-fast broadband (100 Mbps) by that time.
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But even though member states are moving towards bridging the coverage gaps in order to reach the goals, and even though many successful stories have risen from European agenda, the policies and initiatives alone cannot ensure a successful and smooth digital transition of Europe.

It is, therefore, the opportunity of telecommunications industry to contribute and help to realise the vision of Europe as a gigabit society.

Here are some examples how:

1. Building a powerful network

This is the first, big challenge that industry need to take on if it wants to empower digital growth in Europe. The operators, regulators and governments should stimulate next-generation access networks (NGA) roll-out across all territories and ensure the EU is ahead in the 5G race, and effectively address the financing schemes to deliver in white and grey areas.

2. Partnering beyond connectivity

Today's innovative telecom operators need to work with a multitude of players, from service providers to equipment manufacturers. They need to support their vision and constantly innovate to stay afloat and competitive. In this context, it is crucial for operators to be able to effectively manage networks and launch new digital services, to move beyond connectivity and provide a diverse range of services to end users.

3. Reimagining themselves

McKinsey report showed that digitalisation is a great opportunity for operators to rebuild their market positions, reimagine their business systems, rejuvenate business models, and create innovative offerings for customers. Digitalisation can enable operators to improve profits by as much as 35 percent, as new market segments – such as smart cities and IoT – are opening up. By improving themselves and their offerings, operators can vastly contribute to the even greater digitalisation of the society.