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GSMA wants digital ecosystem regulations reviewed

GSMA  wants digital ecosystem regulations reviewed

The GSM Association (GSMA), the body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has recommended quick review of regulations and policies in the digital ecosystem.

According to GSMA, a forward-looking regulatory framework centered  around consumer protection, innovation, investment and competition should be implemented to foster growth in ICT sector .

In its new report titled  “A New Regulatory Framework for the Digital Ecosystem,” the group called for the modernization of telecommunications regulations driven by clear policy objectives for positive impact.

The report developed by NERA Economic Consulting for the GSMA explores how the pace of regulatory reform has failed to match the speed of change in the digital world, in particular with the emergence of a range of internet-based services and applications and a converged digital ecosystem.

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John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA says that, “the telecoms regulations in place today are largely the same as those used to regulate the technologies and markets of the last century. There is no place for analogue rules in today’s dynamic digital age, where consumers face an expanded array of competitive choice in a converged marketplace.”

GSMA says that, “in many cases, changes in technologies and markets have eliminated the need for certain regulations or at least dictate the need to change the form or application of them.

Policymakers are advised “to review existing market structures, reform out-dated regulation and ensure a level competitive playing field to protect consumers and enable innovation.”

The collective growth in mobile broadband access, smartphones and internet technology has fostered new mobile voice and messaging communication services. While these new services compete directly with traditional communications services, including those offered by mobile operators, they are not subject to the same rules, including rules for collecting and using customer data.

“This discriminatory regulation distorts competition, stifles innovation and hurts consumer welfare” .

“Today’s dynamic and competitive markets require more non-discriminatory and technology-agnostic policies. Reforms are needed to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from innovation and investment, while being protected and regardless of the type of the company or technology providing the service.”, he said..

“The GSMA is committed to actively pursuing an informed, constructive and evidence-based dialogue with policymakers to promote much-needed reform of out-dated regulatory frameworks”.

”By applying consistent and flexible standards across the digital ecosystem that apply to all market players, policymakers can enable an environment of fair and sustainable competition that promotes the best interests of consumers and fosters economic growth”, he adds.

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Kayode Oladeinde Technology Journalist at Technology Times. Mobile: +234 (0) 7031526929

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