Kroes’ final plea for EU digital harmony, Hungary mulls internet tax

Neelie Kroes, the outgoing Digital Agenda VP at the European Commission (EC), has urged the telecoms industry and EU member states to end digital divide. Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, Kroes claimed Europe is still split between “the digital haves and the analogue have-nots.”

European Commission deregulates fixed line markets

The European Commission has confirmed that two fixed line markets will no longer be subject to regulation in Europe. The retail market for access to fixed telephony, and the wholesale market for fixed call origination will no longer be affected by price caps.

Departing Neelie Kroes urges telcos to embrace OTTs

The European Commission Vice President, Neelie Kroes, has delivered a farewell speech to the members of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO); in which she urged telcos to embrace over-the-top (OTT) players, and stated her dream for the European telecommunications sector after the current Commission’s tenure ends at the end of October.

Europe and South Korea ally to define and develop 5G

The European Commission and the South Korean government have jointly announced an agreement designed to facilitate the definition and development of 5G wireless technologies. A key immediate aim is to establish a global consensus on the definition of 5G, something that the industry has only very recently begun to discuss in public.

EU single market package draws closer to approval

The European Parliament’s Industry and Research Committee (ITRE) has voted to approve the telecoms single market package proposed by the European Commission. The package, outlined in September 2013, aims to abolish roaming rates within the EU as well as coordinate spectrum assignment across the region. It also calls for consumer rights to be harmonised across Europe, EU-wide protection of net neutrality and simpler rules across the EU to enable companies to invest more and cross borders with their offerings.

GSMA’s Bouverot sends operator-backed open letter to Kroes calling for European reform

The director general of the GSMA, Anne Bouverot, has sent an open letter to EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes calling for policy reform that will encourage investment in Europe’s telecoms sector. Bouverot secured endorsements from the CEOs of ten European operators with a combined European mobile customer base of almost three quarters of a billion subscriptions, according to data from Informa’s World Cellular Investors service.

Merkel, Kroes’ propositions for EU cloud “aren’t contradictory,” says EC

This weekend German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the creation of a secure European communications network that would avoid US-based networks and servers. But after questions about the compatibility of Neelie Kroes’ proposals to create a well-governed ‘Open Internet’ with Merkel’s calls for an “EU only” infrastructure, the European Commission reiterated support for the German Chancellor’s calls for better security and data protection but declined to comment on how the two proposals would feasibly coexist.

EC claims operators missing out on 300 million customers due to roaming rates

The European Commission has published research that suggests Europe’s mobile operators are missing out on business from 300 million customers by charging roaming premiums within the EU. The research forms part of the EC’s continuing drive to end EU roaming charges.