Planning and Future Trends

The Planning and Future Trends Working Group (PFT WG) plays the crucial role of looking at potential trends and issues emerging in electronic communications relevant to the Body of European Regulator for Electronic Communication’s (BEREC’s) mandate. The PFT WG is also involved in the procedure of drafting the BEREC Work Programme. The international and inter institutional cooperation of BEREC is also part of this group’s day to day work.

Working Group Co-Chairs

The image shows Maria Ruiz Merida, Co-chair of the BEREC Planning and Future Trends Working Group
The image shows Ola Bergström, Co-chair of the BEREC Planning and Future Trends Working Group

María Ruiz Merida

CNMC, Spain

Ola Bergström

PTS, Sweden

Work in 2024

In 2024, the PFT WG will continue working on related topics, based on the BEREC Work Programme 2024.

BEREC Strategies beyond 2025

The last strategy covers the period 2021 – 2025. Complementing the overarching strategies, in 2021 BEREC published a BEREC Medium-Term Strategy for relations with other institutions (2022-2025) and a BEREC Medium-Term Strategy for International Cooperation (2022-2025).

In 2024, BEREC will review the three strategies to set its objectives for the period 2026-2030 in view of the latest and expected relevant market, technological and regulatory developments for the next five years. For the first time, the strategies will be merged in a single document. The review of BEREC’s strategies will consider the Action Plan 2023, contributing to a regulatory environment in Europe 2030, as building blocks to shape the regulatory activities in the coming years.

The review of the BEREC’s strategies will consider the upcoming European elections taking place in mid-2024, which will bring new priorities for the European Union (EU), including for electronic communications and digital services as well as for the international cooperation and relations with third countries.

The European Commission (EC) assessment of BEREC’s performance to be issued by December 2023 as well as BEREC’s own evaluation foreseen in the 2023 Work Programme will be most valuable inputs to define BEREC’s path and identify possible areas for improvement and adjustments to be considered in the strategies.

Report on cloud services and edge computing

One of the 2030 targets included in the Digital Compass: The European way for the Digital Decade Communication is that 75% of the European enterprises use cloud computing services, big data and Artificial Intelligence. This objective forecasts a significant growth of these services as, according to Eurostat’s data, only 36% of EU enterprises used cloud services in 2020, mostly for simple services such as e-mail and storage of files. At the same time, the EC has put forward the ambition of looking at new digital opportunities and trends, such as the metaverse. Cloud and edge computing are, among other technologies, key enablers of these developments.

In this context, BEREC considers that there is merit in assessing the provision of cloud and edge computing services. Among other issues, the report will map the different providers within the Internet Ecosystem. The competition implications of the increasing concentration of the public cloud market in Europe will be taken into account. The report will also consider the role of Internet Service Providers and other providers in the value chain for the provision of the services as well as the bundles of cloud and edge computing services with business Electronic Communication Services (ECS) and Electronic Communication Networks (ECN).

BEREC external workshop on the perspectives and regulatory/competition challenges of Internet of Things

In 2023, BEREC organised a workshop with the twofold purpose of reviewing the state of play of the Internet of Things (IoT) services and discussing emerging regulatory/competition challenges for the IoT services in view of 5G and 6G. The outcome will be a summary report.

Why is this important?

The PFT Working Group support National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) gaining a broader and forward-looking perspective on very diverse areas in the digital ecosystem. Although the issues addressed by the group are not normally linked to an immediate regulatory intervention, understanding the general trends of a sector such as electronic communications, that features constant change, is key for the design and the impact evaluation of NRAs regulatory activities. The PFT WG may additionally help identifying upcoming new bottlenecks and regulatory needs.