INTUG/BELTUG speak for business ICT users at BEREC


Danielle Jacobs, General Manager of BELTUG and Chairman of INTUG, spoke at the 3rd BEREC Stakeholder Forum on 15 October in Brussels, giving voice to the needs of international and national business users on topics including the Internet of Things, the need for competition in the telecoms market, net neutrality and INTUG’s proposal for a Code of Conduct for software publishers. Her remarks are below:

“Good morning to all of you. My name is Danielle Jacobs, and I am here today for INTUG, the International Telecommunications User Group. We represent business users; our members are, for example, banks, retail companies, industry, etc.

It would be very difficult to cover all the essential points in just five minutes because we business users really have a lot of concerns. So I'll limit myself to just three points.

First of all, the Internet of Things. We're very pleased that BEREC is taking this topic so seriously, because we see companies paying a lot of attention to the Internet of Things.

While work needs to be done on standards, etc. today I want to highlight another, crucial issue for the business user. Companies must be able to change mobile operator without having to physically change each SIM card. This is especially key for Machine-to-Machine communications. The impacted machines could be out on the road or on ships, or just about anywhere. It would be too difficult to physically access each one in order to change a card. It’s a very important point for us, and I hope BEREC can also work together with the GSM Association on it.

My second discussion point has been mentioned by almost all the previous speakers: competition. We need competition but we certainly aren’t there yet; and we need a good internal market. So we are again very pleased that the internal market holds an important place in the BEREC working plan, as well as in the telecom single markets file of course.

Right now, companies have to put together all the puzzle pieces for their international network services or mobile policy: different prices, different players, and different approaches in different countries. It is much more difficult than it should be for international companies, so that needs to be solved, as well.

Finally, briefly, net neutrality. We are in favor of net neutrality, of course. But we would like to stress how important it is for business users to have service level agreements (SLAs). This could cover the Cloud, access to Cloud software, etc. We hope that the decisions taken regarding net neutrality do not prevent businesses from having those necessary service level agreements.

Part of the BEREC working program is about empowering users, and to me this also means business users. I want to bring up a quite new point, because earlier it was said that new issues also need to be taken care of.

Companies today are built on software, and how they are able to use software is very important for unleashing the potential of the digital economy. But we see a lot of unease within companies - large, small, international, national… - and also within public institutions about software licenses. The contracts, the metrics, are much too complicated; something needs to be done.

Now, you may be wondering: “Why is this a topic for BEREC? Software is not really our thing.”

But the movement for Cloud software is now at a turning point. And if you really want to empower the users, this is the moment to do something about it. We have therefore developed a proposal for a Code of Conduct for software suppliers aimed at removing barriers before they are created.

Thank you for your attention.”

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