CEO Jacques Bonifay engages in constructive dialogue with EU Commissioner Gabriel on removing obstacles for MVNOs to compete



Brussels – On Tuesday 29th of June, MVNO Europe members had the pleasure to meet with the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The association and the Commission had a constructive discussion on the future of the Digital Single Market and, more particularly, on how to overcome European barriers to the successful development of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and the wholesale roaming market.

Representatives from Cubic Telecom, Euro Information Telecom, Fastweb, Sky and Transatel attended the meeting to show the Commission the extent to which MVNOs are at the forefront of several market segments (i.e. IoT, 5G, mobile bundles and fixed, mobile, media, financial services integration) addressing consumers, businesses, and the public sector. European MVNOs represent +/- 10% of EU SIM cards, approach 25% of market shares in some EU Member States and have developed partnerships with major industrial players – including large car manufacturers.

However, available data shows that MVNOs still sometimes face access-to-the-network barriers, in particular in Germany, that fragilize their ability to innovate and create growth. As a result, the association called upon the Commission for EU policies allowing MVNOs to compete in all European telecom markets, and thereby enable consumers to obtain access to highly-developed technologies at fair prices. MVNO Europe believes that an appropriate legal, regulatory and political landscape is key to the full completion of the Digital Single Market.

More precisely, what MVNO Europe would like to see is a fair and balanced regulatory environment that ensures MVNOs are not withheld from 5G and IoT technological developments as well reduced wholesale roaming caps (set by EU Regulation 2017/920, which is subject to review in 2019) so that challenger operators can continue delivering competitive offers and high-quality services.

Jacques Bonifay, Chairman of MVNO Europe, expressed his “satisfaction to have the opportunity to discuss with Commissioner Gabriel about the successful developments of European IoT MVNOs worldwide as well as some of the concerning difficulties smaller players face in accessing certain European markets.

MVNO Europe thanks Commissioner Gabriel and her team for taking the time to consult with the representatives of MVNOs in Europe and remains available to provide the European Commission with expertise so as to make the European Union’s commitments in implementing a competitive and innovative digital single market a reality.