Telecoms execs urge total overhaul of European regulation

BARCELONA, June 28 (Reuters) - Top telecoms executives called for a total overhaul of Europe’s regulatory framework on Monday, using the platform of the Mobile World Congress to press calls for unified oversight across the 27-nation bloc.

“The European regulatory framework is totally outdated,” Telefonica Chairman and CEO Jose-Maria Alvarez-Pallete told the opening keynote session of the industry’s top gathering.

“Regulation today is based on the networks of the previous century.”

Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges said Europe was falling apart with 27 different sets of regulation while messaging services like Facebook’s WhatsApp were free-riding on telecoms network infrastructure.

“We need to wake up,” said Hoettges. This year’s Mobile World Congress is being held in Barcelona as a hybrid event after it was cancelled last year over the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette and Supantha Mukherjee, Writing by Douglas Busvine Editing by Thomas Escritt)