Johan Dennelind: Creating the right policy framework is critical

Telia Company’s President and CEO Johan Dennelind stresses the need for a more ambitious European policy framework in an open letter to European policy makers. The E.U. institutions are currently considering a revision of the telecoms rules and today’s letter sets out Telia Company’s view on priorities and aspirations for the ongoing negotiations.

Dear all,

As the leaders of Europe gathered in Estonia on Friday for the Tallinn Digital Summit, Telia Company brought 5G to life for the first time with our partners. We are breaking the mold, pushing the boundaries and once again showing the world that digital innovation is what we do best.

It’s a great example of the European DNA for innovation that still defines us an industry and will underpin the next wave of digitalization. It will separate the winners from the losers in the global economy; economic growth and competitiveness is about who is able to capture the value from digitalization and effectively set the pace for digital ambition. Digitalization also gives one of the keys for unlocking the solutions to a more sustainable future for our society. Commitment to the UN SDG’s is a good business case for Telia Company and we believe a collaborative commitment to digitalized societies will ultimately deliver the most impact.

It’s with this in mind that, I, as well other leaders in the telecoms industry were in Brussels last week and found a worrying lack of recognition and impetus behind the pressing issue of creating a world leading digital economy in Europe. Europe needs to once again believe in its ability to innovate, invest and lead, rather than an increasing trend towards getting stuck in low-ambition, low-return policy cycles and repeating past debates, such as those we see in the current spectrum discussions.

I cannot agree that a compromise on Europe’s ambition is useful or acceptable. Telia Company led the world on 4G and is now pushing the boundaries on 5G. It is the responsibility of European policy makers to set a framework that has the capacity to support others who are investing to push the boundaries in a similar way, changing our societies for the next generation. We are talking about the ambition of where we want to be by 2030 and this point seems to be absent from today’s policy debates.

I and Telia Company will tirelessly work to promote the value of European innovation. Digitalization is a symbiotic process of collaboration and partnerships, including between the public and private sector. The policy discussion should be no different and I want all of us to break the shackles of assumptions and retrospective dogma and remember what is going to define us a continent and a society as we look forward.

The European institutions have a pivotal job to do in the coming 6-12 months, the results of which will be studied closely for years to come. We have the opportunity to be the community of leaders which moved Europe onto a higher plane of achievement. Let’s make that a reality!

Best regards,
Johan Dennelind

President and CEO,
Telia Company AB

Related information
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