BEREC’s focus on competition at the Mobile World Congress 2024

27 February 2024

Image from the work of the BEREC-GSMA roundtable

Competition is the primary catalyst that drives investment and fosters innovation. It is equally vital in terms of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) and, what’s more, it aligns with BEREC’s assigned responsibilities. Fairness of competition and tools to ensure that citizens can fully benefit from it was the focus of the discussion by BEREC Chair Tonko Obuljen (HAKOM, Croatia) and Vice-Chairs Kostas Masselos (EETT, Greece) and Robert Mourik (Comreg, Ireland) at the GSMA-BEREC ministerial roundtable held on 26 February 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.

Ensuring a wide range of developments
The joint roundtable is a traditional part of the annual Mobile World Congress hosted by the GSMA. During this year’s ministerial roundtable, the BEREC delegation highlighted its fundamental responsibilities, centred on promoting connectivity and competition within the electronic communications sector. 

During his address, the BEREC Chair said, “In Europe, we have reached a significant level of market competition in the field of electronic communications to the satisfaction of end users. BEREC believes that any further step towards achieving the goal of a single market must take into account the benefits of competition to the end user.”

BEREC contributes to the functioning of the internal market and through the consistent application of the regulatory framework governing electronic communications. It also safeguards internet openness and sustainable and competition for the benefit of European citizens. In 2024, BEREC work streams will cover a wide range of developments, spanning from managing a copper network switch-off to the evolution of both private and public 5G networks across Europe.

Deployment of next-generation networks
At the ministerial roundtable, the participants discussed the investment environment for digital infrastructures in Europe. This discussion was timely, occurring shortly after the European Commission issued a White Paper on “How to master Europe's digital infrastructure needs?” on 21 February 2024. Further discussions and exchanges on elements of this topic will also take place between BEREC and its stakeholders on 26 March, as BEREC will hold its annual Stakeholder Forum, which is open for registration.  
The discussions at the roundtable concluded with considerations about migrating to next generation networks, and the perspectives on the deployment of such networks were exchanged, including the phasing out of legacy networks. This highlighted how all stakeholders recognise the importance of sharing experiences, lessons learned, and common approaches to phasing out legacy systems.