The CEO of Orange Spain, Jean Marc Vignolles, warned today that the telecommunications sector is at a critical time in Spain and Europe. “We are facing the most critical months for the future of the industry,” he said. The CEO said that regulatory change is needed to give operators more room for them to increase investment and create jobs.
During his speech at the XXVII Meeting of the Telecommunication Ametic organized employers and UIMP Fundacon Telefonica in Santander, the CEO stressed out the importance of restructuring approved by regulators in Spain, which will create the new National Commission Markets and Competition (CNMC). Vignolles, who thanked CMT’s role in the development of competition in the sector, called for the new supervisory authority maintains the current regulatory role of the CMT “to avoid loopholes.”
The CEO of Orange Spain said there are many outstanding issues in the sector. Among others, noted the need for changes in the mobile market, where more than 30 operators. So he said that you need to end the spiral of falling prices because you can go to the low cost.
On the contrary, maintained that more regulation is needed in fixed broadband, where the incumbent operator has a market share close to 50%, whereas none alternative operator has a market share of 15% or 20% of customers in EBITDA. Among other measures, rebates asked Vignolles wholesale offers.
In addition, Orange CEO said it is vital that the digital dividend on January 2014 so that it can accelerate the deployment of 4G. The manager said he hopes that the commitment by the Government to advance the availability of access to frequencies of 800 MHz band.
With respect to 4G, Orange already offers mobile broadband services in several Spanish cities, and plans to cover seven more cities by the end of the year. For 2014 the forecast of the operator is to offer coverage to all provincial capitals and major population centers.
The Orange CEO also noted agreement with Telefonica to access their vertical fiber deployment, but said that the prices set by the CMT in the vertical access not reflect actual costs. Vignolles said they have asked the regulator to a 50% on these prices, ensuring that if not reduced, “Telefonica would fund the deployment of its network.” The official recalled that Orange has an agreement with Vodafone to bring fiber to six million households in four years.
Vignolles criticized Telstra Telefonica agreement that will allow the company to offer fiber services without investing a single euro. He also recalled that Orange had to return spectrum to facilitate the deployment of Telstra, and yet now those frequencies will be available to Telefonica. Vignolles noted that Orange has asked the CMT and CNC deeply revise these agreements that, in his view, are discriminatory.
Overall, asked the authorities to facilitate the consolidation process, remembering that Orange was interested in buying Telstra.
Since arriving in Spain, Orange has invested over 15,000 million euros, said Vignolles, noting that in recent years the operator has allocated 580 million to spectrum, 500 million to improve mobile network and 120 million in opening shops.
The CEO of Orange Spain said the company last year paid more than 425 million euros in taxes and fees. “We have paid almost 2,000 million in taxes and fees since 2007, and in 2013, the contribution will be around 575 million euros,” he said.
Statistics say that 20% of all future growth will be the product of the digital economy and despite the telco industry is the one that has to say in this market is burdened by fiscal and regulatory pressure, and the need for large investments.
In operational terms, in the future, Vignolles announced that the company is finalizing the launch of new services.
In this way, announced in late September that “we will launch a new TV deal” for customers to access any content from anywhere with any device, tablets, TVs, smartphones. “It will be a real video on demand”, pointed Vignolles, which indicated that the contents will be broadcast in high definition.
In addition, in October Vignolles said the company will launch Orange Cloud, where users can store up to 100 gigabytes multimedia content. “It will be included by default, without cost, on all Orange tariffs, which offer the service to businesses and individuals,” said the manager, adding that it will be accessible from any device.
Finally, in the last quarter, the telecom launch Orange Cash, a mobile payment service developed by Mastercard. It will be a prepaid service, rechargeable associated with a credit card. The CEO stated that incorporate NFC payment technology, adding that the group is working with six financial institutions.
Photo Credit: LisaChin