Sector & service specialists

Telecoms

ETNO has been the voice of Europe’s telecommunication network operators since 1992 and with 40 members is the principal policy group for European electronic communications network operators. The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) is the leading pan-European telecoms association promoting market liberalisation and competition in the European communications sector. The EU telecoms sector is one where there are many national champions but few pan-European leaders.

As a side note, the author once looked at the correlation between the size of the association secretariat and the size of the industry it represents, and found that there were many other factors at play. ETNO members for example employ 1 million people throughout Europe, however, the secretariat only employs 9 people which is much smaller than other associations with industries of similar scale. Fragmentation of the European market and the presence of many national telecoms operators in Brussels probably explains this disparity. Hence, most opportunities for public affairs consultancies and law firms are with traditional telecoms operators, or newer entrants offering consumer broadband and triple-play and challenger mobile/wireless network operators and service providers.

Just two years after telecoms consolidation appeared stymied by Brussels’ steely competition watchdog, European executives are again talking up the chances of mergers seen in the industry as key to investment in next generation mobile networks. The European telecoms industry wants to persuade Brussels to listen to such arguments amid fears that the region lacks the sort of national champions being created in China and the US.

Financial Times - European telecoms industry

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