Mobile World Congress : Innovation, 5G & the European regulatory framework on the agenda of the institutional exchanges

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), organised by the GSMA, took place in Barcelona from the 27th of February to the 2nd of March.

Bringing together more than 100,000 participants, this congress is both an exhibition of the latest innovations in the digital sector and a forum where stakeholders can exchange on regulatory issues or the European industrial policy.

This year, the discussions were mainly about the 5G revolution and the necessary regulatory changes so that, the European Union, the wider society and the digital sector can fully benefit from it. In this context, Ms. Pilar del Castillo Vera , member of the European Parliament (MEP) responsible for the review of the electronic communications framework, recalled how important it is to further coordinate spectrum policies across Europe, notably to support IoT service development.

Orange shared its position during debates on:

  • 5G and connected cars during a roundtable with European Commissioners MM. Ansip and Oettinger;
  • the trends and evolutions of the telecommunications sector with Vice-president Ansip, mobile operators, Orange being represented by his Deputy CEO, Pierre Louette ;
  • The review of our sector-specific regulatory framework, during meetings with the regulatory authorities from the BEREC, or with MEPs present there.

In addition, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, gave a speech on 5G followed by an exchange of views, in particular with the FCC President, the US regulator, and Vice-President Ansip.

Finally, Orange welcomed on its stand a delegation of Members of the European Parliament (MEP). The MEPs Brando Benifei (Italy), Michal Boni (Poland), Pilar Del Castillo (Spain), Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (Poland), Miapetra Kumpula Natri (Finland), Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (the Netherlands), Emilian Pavel (Romania) et Lambert Van Nistelrooij (the Netherlands) were present.

Following the presentation of Orange’s latest innovations, the European Parliament representatives were able to watch a simulation of the performance of a 5G network with a 3D visualisation of its results. A demonstration of the first field tests on the connected car, in cooperation with PSA, Ericsson and Qualcomm was made to them: the “See Through”, which allows communication between two cars on the road, and the “Emergency Vehicle” which informs in real time on where the emergency vehicle is. Finally, the demonstration of connected hives showed them a honey production optimization service for beekeepers by connecting their hives to the LoRa network (a Low Power Wide Area) in combination with an app allowing to better manage their needs.

These discussions will now continue in Brussels and Strasbourg, in particular with the upcoming adoption in the European Parliament of the report on 5G and the amendments on the draft report of the European Electronic Communications Code.