Deutsche Telekom was the latest company to join the growing list of organizations voicing their opposition against telecom industry regulations which are said to be hampering investment in mobile and fixed networks. In an annual shareholder meeting held on Thursday, Rene Obermann, the Chief Executive of Deutsche Telekom sad that the company has suffered heavy losses in revenue thanks to the strict regulations in Germany and Europe. Obermann added that though there is a need for high speed networks throughout the various nations of Europe, including the furthest corners, the regulatory authorities have not been conducive to investment requirements of setting up the required fiber optic networks.
Many telecom operators including France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Vodafone have been trying to rally against the regulations in Europe which were originally set up in an attempt to stimulate network investment and competition.
The conflict of interest between policy makers and the various operators is said to spur from the fear that the communications infrastructure in Europe is falling behind that of Asia and the United States. Regulators in Europe have been pushing mobile network operators to spend billions for setting up the latest high speed broadband networks even as the clash between the two has escalated. Fourth generation mobile access remains scarce in Europe where as Japan and the United States provide users with the much faster mobile data access. France will see its first 4G mobile network only next year and that too only in select cities. On the other hand, Britain is yet to auction 4G licenses.
Nee lie Krebs, a spokesman for the European Telecommunications Commissioner was quoted as saying that the EU is striving to decrease the cost of investment for operators. He said that the cost of investment and expansion could be reduced by as much as 30 percent if civil engineering was made efficient and proper planning was followed. He added that they were open to hearing ideas from the industry about how to cut the overall cost and save time.
The European Union has a rather ambitious target to enable high speed broadband internet access to all consumers by 2013. A broader plan of ensuring that at least half of the households in Europe have internet connection speeds of over 100 megabits per second is also envisioned by the EU.