Skype may face same regulatory rules as telecom operators in EU


The next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards, 5G, is all the talk currently, with a planned deployment of the technology sometime in 2020. A so-called “5G Manifesto” was submitted by some of the biggest telecom operators in Europe, signed by the heads of some European companies like BT Group, Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Spain’s Telefonica, and Dutch Royal. The aforementioned signees want the EU to give grants between $562.5 million and $1.12 billion so that other industries that may utilize the technology can experiment with integrating their services with the new technology. The manifesto also called for the EU to create its own 5G venture fund, and use it to take equity stakes in innovative European start-ups that are developing using 5G technologies and applications. The companies stated that “in order to facilitate the adoption of 5G technologies, the European Commission and Member States must encourage and incentivize cross-sector innovation through adequate policies and support for cross-sector hubs for experiments, trials and large scale pilot programs.” in the manifesto.

In addition to this, traditional telecom operators are asking that the European Commission have other “players in the digital value chain” abide by the same regulatory requirements that they have to. So services such as Facebook’s What’s App, Microsoft’s Skype app, and other VOIP app services will have to follow the same rules as normal telecom regulators, whether that be providing free calls to emergency services or keeping up with network security.

So far, nothing has been set in stone, but later this week the European Commission may reveal some proposals that respond to some of the request made in the manifesto. You can read more about that here.

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