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Europe.connected

Let’s get Europe connected

Vodafone’s pan-European high-speed connectivity, digital services and digital platforms are speeding up the EU's digital transition.

Our activities support the core objectives of the European Commission’s Digital Compass, Industrial Strategy and the economic recovery programmes, enabling businesses to innovate and transform public services so as to create a more competitive, inclusive and greener future for Europe.

Our policy priorities in Europe

Healthy, sustainable market structure
End of extractive spectrum auction approach
Operator-managed vendor transition
Simplified deployment
Reduced barriers to network sharing
Pro-customer and pro-innovation regulatory approach

Delivering Europe’s digital future today

At Vodafone, we are working to help the European Union meet its ambitions for a truly Digital Decade.

There is a pressing need to kick start the COVID-19 recovery and build back better. By creating a truly Digital Europe, the benefits could be transformative – economically, socially and environmentally.

Find out how Vodafone is already working to deliver Europe’s digital future, and how greater collaboration between the EU, industry and member states can make it a reality for everyone.

Europe’s recovery towards a new Digital Decade

The European Union’s (EU) Digital Decade, which sets key targets on different digital areas until 2030, is the EU’s vision for Europe’s digital transformation and a critical element in Europe maintaining its global competitiveness in a rapidly changing world.

We commissioned Deloitte to conduct a high-level analysis of the potential contribution of National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) toward the Digital Decade targets. This study, titled “Achieving the Digital Decade: Recovery & Resilience Plan Contributions” covers 20 Member States and the overall EU progress towards these targets.

The 20 Member States included are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Original study findings

Based on this financial analysis, gaps appear greatest in regard to digital infrastructure, ICT specialists, the digitalisation of SMEs and cloud adoption. Furthermore, the study shows that the national and EU recovery plans for connectivity amount to just 46% of the estimated €210bn EU-wide investment needed to meet 2025 targets.

Updated study findings

In March 2022, we updated the report to see how much additional progress had been made. Most notably, the proportion of businesses using cloud technology must significantly increase in order to meet the European Commission’s Digital Decade 2030 goal.

90 for 27

Creating a greener, fairer, more digital society means we need to make sure we are investing in the right infrastructure and services that will deliver new jobs and economic growth.

If all 27 member states worked now to achieve a score of 90 on the DESI, we can be sure that we are building a truly digital society. Europe can build back better, stronger, and more resilient if we all get behind 90 for 27.

To read our analysis of the positive impact reaching 90 for 27 would have on Europe’s GDP and how it would level the playing field between member states.

Policy reports and research

Europe’s recovery towards a new Digital Decade

The European Union’s (EU) Digital Decade, which sets key targets on different digital areas until 2030, is the EU’s vision for Europe’s digital transformation and a critical element in Europe maintaining its global competitiveness in a rapidly changing world.

Yet the proportion of businesses using cloud technology, in particular, must significantly increase in order to meet the European Commission’s Digital Decade 2030 goal.

In this report, produced by Deloitte and commissioned by Vodafone, four key policy enablers are set out that could help enable the EU to realise its European Digital Decade goals.

5G with the Internet of Things – everyone connected to everything – is as transformational for small to large enterprises as 4G was for consumers. China and the US have understood 5G’s strategic importance and are investing at speed through scaled operators with strong balance sheets. This is in stark contrast to Europe, where regulation has promoted price over quality, leaving the sector fragmented and indebted, and the continent with a large investment gap.

Small and medium enterprises are the beating heart of Europe’s economy, and our post-COVID-19 recovery will be dependent on how well they are able to recover and thrive, driving innovation and job creation across the continent. This study analyses the experiences of SMEs through the crisis, from the start of the pandemic up until July 2020 – and it clearly demonstrates how digital has supported SME resilience throughout that period.

We have also used this research to look to the future, consider how government digital policy can best support SMEs and ensure we do not see the ‘digital divide’ that was already evident in this area become further entrenched as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. We believe the findings are very relevant to governments as they put in place policies to ensure that SMEs have what they need to bounce back from COVID-19. This report includes expert independent analysis and evidence from Deloitte.

Policymakers recognise that gigabit connectivity propels the digital transformation of both industry and society. A successful rollout of 5G across Europe is a necessary condition for this European digital transformation. Therefore, consistent and predictable regulation is critical, supported by policies that promote development and tackle fragmentation. Despite this, there is an ongoing regulatory discussion on the issue of whether internationally harmonised cellular spectrum should be ‘set aside’ for private localised use instead of auctioned to whoever is able to create the largest value to society, including nationwide public networks.

In this report, we demonstrate that set-aside policies will lead to a significant consumer welfare loss, reducing the incentive for investment by distorting competition, inflating the costs of spectrum licences and limiting the ability of operators to build the best 5G networks possible for everyone. This report includes expert independent analysis and evidence from the consultancies Arthur D. Little and Compass Lexecon.

Vodafone believes in the promise of Europe. Despite the significant and important progress driven by the Digital Single Market, we believe that Europe needs a step change: one that turbo-charges investment and lays the foundations for top-class European digital infrastructure through the creation of better conditions for digital solutions made in Europe and which builds trust in the digital society, empowering European citizens.

The EU’s strategic agenda spanning 2019-2024 will be pivotal. This white paper examines policies that could address the significant challenges that Europe faces today and which will ensure that Europe is in a position to be a global leader in the next phase of the digital revolution.

In the digital deployment report, we have identified six key policy aspects that, we believe, impact investors’ abilities to deploy competing fixed and mobile digital networks in a given market. Governments and policymakers can stimulate investment by examining their policies in each of these areas in comparison with peers and ensuring they have a plan to adopt best practice. This report provides policymakers with the best practices and the degree of variation across our 12 EU markets and makes policy recommendations to improve the ease of digital infrastructure deployment.

The value IoT could bring to Europe is well recognised. If the regulatory landscape is right, these benefits could transform Europe’s standing in terms of global competitiveness and 5G connectivity. In order to unlock these advantages, a new cross-sectoral regulatory framework is needed.

Related pages

Africa.connected

Vodafone and Vodacom’s pan-African connectivity, digital services and digital platforms are working together to support Africa’s digital transformation.

Rural.connected

Access to digital infrastructure and fast, reliable connectivity is vital for people to improve their livelihoods and for businesses to flourish in rural communities across Europe.

Learn more about our contribution to SDGs

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