November 25, 2020

Álvarez-Pallete asks European regulators for “courage” to compete on equal terms




The president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, asked European regulators for “courage” in the face of big technology (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft …), because he assured that “Europe does not have much room to react”. A few words that the head of telecom has pronounced during his virtual participation in the FT-ETNO Summit 2020 in London, in which the Commissioner for the Internal Market has also participated. Be brave, let us compete by the same rules. It’s time to shake the game board. It is a question of values ​​and rights in the digital world ”, pointed out Pallete. On the other hand, it has announced that the net zero emissions commitment is advanced to 2025 against the initial goal of 2030.

For Pallete, “the next challenge” for the Brussels authorities should be the deregulation of the telecommunications sector, although he welcomed the initiative of the European Commission to regulate the big internet giants. “That is the right way,” he added.

In his opinion, it is necessary to move towards “the end of the expropriation of the new generation networks imposing the access of third parties with regulated prices.” For Telefónica’s chief executive, these networks have been built in “A competitive environment and, sometimes, in joint venture” and asks not to focus on “maximizing revenue from 5G auctions.” In this sense, Pallete believes that it is more important to «New competition rules that allow the creation of strong operators and healthy markets in Europe. This is critical.

A trial is “ironic” that in this pandemic year, in which the importance of connectivity has been enshrined, “telecommunications revenues continue to fall and their value is at its lowest point.”

Physical world, digital world

The head of Telefónica has also reaffirmed his conviction that the pandemic has been “a time machine that has accelerated all digital processes by five years” and, in his opinion, has shown that “When the physical world closes, the digital world remains open”. In Pallete’s opinion, activities such as teleworking, ecommerce, health, online training or Artificial Intelligence have helped life continue and contributed to the prevention of new outbreaks. “Digitization means growth, quality employment, sustainability and inclusion”, he pointed out.

In any case, Álvarez Pallete has valued the role of digital services during the pandemic and as an example has mentioned that video calls or online streaming traffic has increased sevenfold. In line with this, it has been asked about the market share of the providers of this type of services and if any regulator could request this information from them. Also, you have questioned security controls or whether conversations are being stored.

Zero emissions by 2025

It was not the only announcement by Pallete at the FT-ETNO Summit 2020. Telefónica advances its commitment to zero net emissions from 2030 to 2025. For example, this means in Spain the dismantling of the entire copper network. In this regard, the Chairman of Telefónica has stated that «Technology has the potential to reduce global emissions between 15% and 35% by 2030 ».

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