Mobile industry’s manifesto for a green, more inclusive Europe

3 Nov 2009

Global mobile comms industry powerhouse the GSMA has unveiled a European Mobile Manifesto which sets out how the mobile industry will help achieve key EU objectives to boost economies, protect consumers and increase the use of green tech.

To do this, the mobile industry has undertaken to work more closely with governments, education and health authorities and technology manufacturers. The mobile industry is also calling upon the EU to provide a number measures to support the initiative.

Mobile industry’s objectives

Through the Mobile Manifesto, the mobile industry outlines its goals to:

·        Increase internet connectivity and drive productivity through widespread mobile-broadband access – on the move and at home, in cities and in rural areas.

·        Engage consumers and improve efficiency by enabling the “mobilisation” of commercial and public services, particularly eCommerce, eLearning, eHealth and eGovernment.

·        Build a greener mobile planet by reducing Europe’s carbon footprint through machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies.

·        Empower users and maintain consumer trust by providing mobile privacy tools.

“Mobile is a key element in today’s society – it is the most ubiquitous, connected and personalised communications tool that we have, and it holds significant potential to improve the lives of European citizens and the economic performance of the region through social inclusion and continued investment in innovation,” said Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board, GSMA.

“Europe has contributed considerably to the global success of the mobile industry and it is an area where Europe continues to be a forerunner. Together, the leaders of the industry have developed this manifesto showing where mobile will help to create a more prosperous, green and inclusive Europe for all.”

The manifesto focuses exclusively on the role mobile can play in achieving the ICT policy objectives of the European Commission and iterates the support the mobile industry is seeking to facilitate this manifesto.

More spectrum, please

Specifically, the industry is asking the EU for more spectrum to develop a harmonised road map for release; for rollout support to remove barriers to eco-efficient coverage expansion; to be pro-mobile in public services, utilities and infrastructure; to help educate the consumer and promote user responsibility for online data and security; and provide continued flexibility in network management to preserve choice and quality of service and experience.

“The manifesto gives a very good insight in the key role mobile will play in European society – if we take the right measures now,” said Viviane Reding, the EU’s Telecoms Commissioner.

The Mobile Manifesto outlines specific and detailed goals from the industry and highlights Europe’s existing strength in mobile and estimates the economic, social and environmental benefits of these goals.

Measurable effects

The effects of these goals are measurable; calculations show that mobile teleworking can reduce carbon emissions by 22.1 MtCO2e a year, or energy savings of €7.7 billion by 2015; mHealth, calculations show a saving of up to €78 billion by 2015 and increasing connectivity through mobile will deliver greater productivity, which is estimated to add an aggregate of up to €349 billion (or 2.9pc of EU GDP) by 2015.

The mobile sector represents 1.3pc of EU Gross Value Added, 1.2pc of EU GDP, and employs more than 600,000 people. Within EU telecoms, mobile now accounts for about 61pc of revenues, up from 47pc in 2002. The sector continues to invest in its next-generation infrastructure, providing a strong economic stimulus.

Current estimates suggest the mobile industry in Europe will deploy €145 billion in capital expenditure through 2013, creating direct and indirect employment for more than 4.7 million people.

Mobile is expected to make a significant contribution to recovery from the current downturn and to Europe’s longer-term fulfilment of the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy which are aimed at making the European Union the most competitive economy in the world and achieving full employment by 2010.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Viviane Reding, the EU’s Telecoms Commissioner.

Viviane Reding

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years