Science

Telecom groups want tech giants to help fund networks

The heads of thirteen major European telecommunications groups, including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Orange, want GAFA to get down to business. On Monday, November 29, 2021, they spoke in favor of a joint call for funding by US tech giants for the costs of developing telecommunications networks in Europe, which they use extensively. This demand is being formulated as the telecommunications sector faces heavy investments in the deployment of 5G, fiber optics and other cable networks to support the flow of data and services provided by Netflix, YouTube, owned by Google and Facebook.

52.5 billion euros

In 2020, investments by telecommunications groups in Europe stood at € 52.5 billion, a peak in six years. “A significant part and growth of traffic is generated and monetized by large technology platforms, but this requires continuous and intensive investment in networks, as well as planning by the telecommunications industry,” wrote the CEOs of thirteen large European telecommunications groups.

Netflix, Facebook … not mentioned

“This model … can be viable only if these large platforms also share equally in the costs of the network,” they added in a joint statement, which Reuters was able to consult. No American companies are explicitly named, but listed giants like Netflix and Facebook appear to be the target. Signatories to the letter include the CEOs of Telefónica, KPN, BT Group, Telekom Austria, Proximus, Telenor, Altice Portugal, Telia Company and Swisscom.

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