EC Says Telco Standards Could Make €110 Billion New Digital Content Market

The European Commission reckons it could unlock €110 ($147.99/£93.27) billion a year in new digital business by harmonising rules for the bloc’s telecoms market.

A study it commissioned from Ecorys, published on Tuesday, says the gain would come to content and telco operators from telecom rules that were revised last year plus new provisions.

“This ‘digital bonus’ for EU growth would result from more competition, increased economies of scale for telecom operators, and the chance for every European to access all online content and services throughout the EU, such as music, movies and video games,” according to the EC.

“For example, new and more efficient economic activity could arise from the ability to subscribe to TV from your home country when living abroad, the possibility of receiving healthcare monitoring from your local physician while on holiday, or a business using a single cloud computing provider for offices in many EU countries.

“The drivers of growth will be online services such as movies and games (which will evolve from High Definition to technologies such as 3D, e-Health or e-Learning). These services require guaranteed quality of service. This requires pan-European standards, since what might work in one member state may not be possible in another.”

In addition to last year’s wide-ranging new telecoms rules, the primary pillar of the commission’s Digital Agenda is creating a “single digital market” to boost entertainment download and streaming services across borders, including by simplifying content licensing and harmonising online payments access.

Online content services are only too keen for the EC to simplify the process by which they can gain licenses to sell or rent digital content. The EC is due to propose legislation this Q1 to simplify cross-border licensing.