12 March 2015

On the 1st March 2015 EIF hosted a High-level Roundtable on ‘Sharpening Europe’s Mobile Edge’ with Members of European Parliament, international experts and EIF members, in the context of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Ms. Pilar del Castillo MEP and EIF Chair welcomed participants and recalled the Roundtable hosted by EIF in Barcelona the previous year, which contributed to the EIF Report ‘The Digital World in 2030: What Place for Europe?’ by identifying future digital trends and policy implications of the ‘third industrial revolution’.

Ms. del Castillo kicked off the Roundtable by introducing the European mobile industry as one of the most successful in the world, with a strong track record in innovation and developing new services, and the potential to deliver even greater benefits and play a leading role in helping the EU to meet the growth, jobs, sustainability and innovation objectives set out by the EU 2020 Strategy. The question she asked participants is, how can we sharpen Europe’s mobile edge?

Ms. Del Castillo gave the floor to Mr. Ajit Jaokar, Professor at Universidad Politecnica of Madrid and EIF Advisor, who introduced the topic and invited participants to freely contribute their views. As Mr. Jaokar said, the mobile industry is playing a central role in supporting economic activity and recovery in the region. By sharpening Europe’s mobile edge we would help innovation, delivering a dynamic digital single market, enabling a sustainable recovery and in creating a world-leading digital economy and connected society. The discussion that followed focused on the following key points, among others:

  • The Digital Single Market for Europe as strategic to foster investments, for enterprises to become digitized and to scale, and for new jobs to be created; policy makers and regulators to collaborate and create an appropriate ecosystem with farsighted regulation;
  • Digital skills as essential for new digital jobs;
  • A high level digital infrastructure as necessary for Europe to benefit from mobile, big data and the Cloud, now shaping the industry;
  • Progress to be made on the digital (and mobile) agenda, bringing tremendous developments in various sectors including eHealth;
  • Standardisation, interoperability, connectivity and security as essential (e.g. for IoTs);
  • Regulation to be harmonized rather than fragmented, horizontal rather than sectorial;
  • Überization as inevitable, looming in all industries, its disruption to be embraced;
  • The future of the mobile industry is the internet and vice versa;
  • Net neutrality to be clear and predictable to allow for new business models (avoiding monopoly power);
  • Consumers as key element: the same regulation can give different outcome in different countries; consumers demand as key driver of investments;
  • Spectrum policy as essential to encourage new players and foster industrial internet development; need of a smarter spectrum and an efficient traffic management to optimize network performance;
  • Level playing field for equal services;
  • Need of transnational policy to fight against global issues like cybercrime; trust and security as key to the digital economy;
  • Industry 4.0 as key for Europe’s competitiveness, and local ecosystems as critical for local innovation;
  • Need of convergence of platforms.

Pictures from the Roundtable and from the visit of the EIF Delegation to the MWC can be found at this link.

  • #ICT


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