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International ICT CEO Summit in Venice on the market and regulatory challenges of Broadband growth

07/03/2008 - 11:17 AM

BRUSSELS - The Chief Executives of the leading ICT companies of Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East will gather for the first ETNO global CEO Summit in Venice on 25 October to discuss future market scenarios and identify global policy challenges for the telecoms industry.

This event is jointly organized by Telecom Italia and ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association) in parallel to the Association’s 33th General Assembly hosted by Telecom Italia. The Summit will be opened by Telecom Italia Chairman Gabriele Galateri di Genola and CEO Franco Bernabé, and will be held at the Fondazione Cini on San Giorgio Island, the site of past G-7 summits.

 ICT industry growth trends differ markedly from country to country, depending to a great extent on their respective policy and regulatory landscapes. Having the right policy framework and a predictable regulatory environment is a fundamental condition of market growth and the necessary pre-condition for the investment plans of all industries with a stake in the sector.

Globally, high-speed internet penetration is progressing rapidly. Hundreds of millions of consumer households have connection speeds that exceed those of the business sector of only 2 decades ago. What is the next step? Inevitably, broadband at the megabit range will be replaced by ultra-broadband at gigabit rates. And the questions for telecommunication companies are many: what will be the pace of this development; the investment required and its speed; the applications and content needed; consumer demand; the role of wireless; the potential for competition; the regulatory implications; and many more.

Chief Executives will tackle these issues and discuss major technological and market developments in Europe, the US and in emerging markets, identifying major policy challenges for the global telecoms industry. As convergence would require, participants will include CEOs from leading fixed and mobile telecoms operators, equipment and software companies and new Internet players. Key officials from European institutions as well as national regulators from Europe and the United States will also attend.

“The CEO Summit is an unprecedented occasion to reinforce the global role of the ICT and telecoms industry in boosting economic growth and productivity. The CEO Summit will aim to identify global policies to spur investment and boost innovation”, said Luigi Gambardella, Telecom Italia Vice-President for Relations with International Institutions and Chair of 2008 ETNO General Assembly.

“As Europe enters a crucial phase of the policy debate on the review of the telecommunications rules and faces major challenges to catch up with the roll out of next generation access networks, the ETNO CEO Summit will be a key opportunity to open up the debate to all players, beyond the traditional telecoms sector, and identify global responses to these challenges”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

For more information, please consult www.etno.be or contact Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager (dieu@etno.be or 32 2 227 10 82);
for Telecom Italia consult http://www.telecomitalia.it/media, or contact Media Relations Dept. +39 06 3688 2424.

About ETNO
ETNO’s 41 member companies from 34 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than 250 billion Euros, employ over one million people across Europe and account for more 70% of total sector investment. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

About Telecom Italia
Supplying around 36 million mobile lines and around 22 million landlines in Italy, 10,3 million broadband clients including Germany and Netherland, Telecom Italia is a Italy’s leading  ICT enterprise with a significant international presence in Europe and South America. The Telecom Italia Group operates on the fixed-line telecommunications, mobile telecommunications and internet markets through the Telecom Italia, TIM and Alice brands; in media through La7, MTV Italia and APCOM; and in office and systems solutions through Olivetti. Group’s consolidated revenues at 31 March 2008 amounted to 7,298 million euros.

Bruxelles, 3 july 2008