On the technology, business models and regulatory aspects of NGN

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

This report by the European Telecommunications Platform looks at the changes telecommunication and internet markets will undergo as a result of Next-Generation Networks.

The landscape in telecommunications is changing and among the major drivers for this change are technological possibilities (especially IP technology and IP applications), the convergence of media, computing and telecommunications and the market success of mobility.

The basis for the bright future of a plethora of converged services is the emerging next generation network. This will consist of

  • various next generation access networks, which will allow true platform competition,
  • global next generation core networks with nearly unlimited bandwidth in the backbone and
  • next generation service control, which will provide the framework for intelligent and convergent service creation

This desirable path will not be pursued in any case. The challenge for regulators, industry and operators is to provide a favourable regulatory environment, which should fulfill the following highlevel requirements:

  • should be based on technology- and provider-neutral regulatory criteria
  • must be based on legal principles largely drawn from competition law
  • non-economic regulation should be hands-off regulation
  • economic regulation (if required) should focus on enduring bottlenecks
  • should allow for innovation and investment
  • should provide legal certainty
  • should focus on services not on technology
  • should avoid fragmentation of markets
  • should balance harmonisation and innovation
  • should address the question of cross-border services

The new regulatory environment should rely on market forces and competition. Non-economic regulatory goals should be pursued with as light a regulatory touch as possible. In that way next generation networks as described in this paper will emerge and significantly contribute to the political goals set out in i2010.

Read the full report [pdf; ~123kB]

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