15 September 2020

On 9 September, as part of EIF's ‘Meet the CEO’ series, Members of the European Parliament, EIF Members and guests will have the opportunity to virtually meet and exchange views with Steve Mollenkopf, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Virtual debate with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf

Pilar del Castillo MEP kicked-off the discussion by acknowledging Qualcomm’s “important role in stimulating technological innovation”, mainly through “its contribution on 5G deployment”. At a time when covid19 acts as a magnifying lens, it has shown “the urgent need for Europe to move up a gear in its digital transformation”. 

MEP del Castillo highlighted the importance of digital technologies, by asking the audience: “Could you imagine what would have been 10-20-50 years ago without teleworking, e-commerce, entertainment etc.?”

From a policymaking perspective, MEP del Castillo acknowledged that there is still work to be done, mainly in “ensuring that the EECC is implemented correctly” and eliminating obstacles for 5G deployment.

Steve Mollenkopf started his speech by enumerating the importance of European sites in Qualcomm’s product development: “we are doing cutting edge development of AI in Amsterdam, chipset design in Munich and we are working closely with fellow engineers from Italy to Finland in order to better understand how to make 5G deployment work.” In Mr. Mollenkopf’s opinion, 5G is in a state where companies deploy not only technologies but also the business models that will be built on top of these. 

With regard to 5G networks, Mr. Mollenkopf stated that they are “spreading rapidly globally”, their deployment being accelerated by the coronavirus crisis. “The more access we have to powerful flexible secure networks, the more we can keep our economies growing and help them rebound even stronger than before. It is all about resilience.” According to him, “Europe is doing quite well with 5G” and the EU’s 5G Action Plan, which harmonizes low and mid-band spectrum is “extremely important”, as these are “the fundamental policy decisions that allow technology to grow”.

In conclusion, Steve Mollenkopf commended Europe for acknowledging the importance of standardised technology and reiterated Qualcomm’s commitment: “We want to make sure that we are key contributors to European technology industry both at employment level and policy level.”

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