The European telecoms sector has lost €100m a day to disruptive technology companies over the past decade, says a report commissioned by Etno, the trade body that represents the region’s largest operators. Europe’s telecoms groups have long complained about the burden of regulation on the sector, while more lightly regulated US and Asian tech companies have launched rival services offering communications and internet access — often using the infrastructure created by the national telecoms groups. The report, compiled by Accenture, warns regulatory change is required to create a competitive digital economy in Europe. “Europe could face further value loss to digital disrupters in other regions and over 50 per cent of current European jobs could be affected by digitisation,” it said. The report, released ahead of a Financial Times telecoms conference in Brussels on Wednesday, is the latest move by Europe’s largest telecoms companies to fight onerous rules that they argue act as a disincentive to investment. Executives in the telecoms sector also complain they are shackled by the fragmented nature of the regulatory environment in Europe, which has opened the door for technology companies to take a large share of consumer spending by offering free messaging, voice and other social media services.
According to Etno, European companies now account for only 11 per cent of global telecoms sector profit, down from 36 per cent in 2006.
Source: Financial Times