IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reforming Europe's Telecoms Regulation to Enable the Digital Single Market


  • Wolfgang D. BOCK

    (Boston Consulting Group, Munich)

  • Maikel WILMS

    (Boston Consulting Group, Amsterdam)

  • Peter SOOS

    (Boston Consulting Group, Budapest)

  • Bjoern ROEBER

    (Boston Consulting Group, Duesseldorf)


In a few short years, Europe has gone from leader to laggard in advanced digital networks. Many markets in Asia and North America now enjoy fiber access penetration up to 20 times higher and LTE penetration up to 35 times higher than in the EU. As a result, European consumers and businesses experience slower connections, leading to less value and slower economic growth. This report examines the regulatory reasons why Europe is falling behind, and it offers a strategy and roadmap for reversing the current negative trends. The three main inhibitors of investments identified by the report are, (a) the inability of telecom operators to make a fair return, (b) the mandated inefficiencies in the mobile sector, (c) the lack of a harmonized pan-European approach. To counteract this scenario, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has developed a strategy to redress the situation and suggests the following five measures to unlock EU telecoms' growth potential: (1) substantially deregulating fixed-line wholesale access, (2) creating a level playing field for network operators and OTT digital service providers, (3) modernizing spectrum policy across Europe to create a sustainable infrastructure competition that incentivizes network investments, (4) permitting healthy consolidation in mobile, (5) harmonizing rules and procedures to unlock synergies between countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang D. BOCK & Maikel WILMS & Peter SOOS & Bjoern ROEBER, 2014. "Reforming Europe's Telecoms Regulation to Enable the Digital Single Market," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(93), pages 17-34, 1st quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs9301

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michał Grajek & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2012. "Regulation and Investment in Network Industries: Evidence from European Telecoms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 189-216.
    2. Wallsten Scott & Hausladen Stephanie, 2009. "Net Neutrality, Unbundling, and their Effects on International Investment in Next-Generation Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23, March.
    3. Dogan, Pinar & Bourreau, Marc & Manant, Matthieu, 2010. "A Critical Review of the “Ladder of Investment†Approach," Scholarly Articles 4777447, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Amendola, Giovanni Battista, 2015. "Ultra-Broadband For All In Europe: Can Access Regulation Hinder Innovation And Welfare Maximisation?," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127120, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. repec:eee:telpol:v:43:y:2019:i:3:p:238-261 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    regulation; next generation networks; digital services; spectrum auction.;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs9301. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (BLAVIER Thomas) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask BLAVIER Thomas to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.