Same service, same rules: the new trend in ITU

The International Telecommunication Unión introduces the principle of Level Playing Field in the agreements reached in the meeting of its Study Group 3.

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Same freedom of innovation in apps for operators, less regulation in communications services for operators and newulatory tools to deal with digital transformation.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a multilateral organisation dependent on the United Nations for aspects on Telecommunications and ICT, introduces the principle of same service, same rules (Level Playing Field) in the agreements reached at the last meeting of its Study Group 3.

Three initiatives within the framework of ITU’s Study Group 3 reflect this principle:

  • Recommendation D.262: A collaborative framework for OTTs. It recommends reducing the regulation of operators when competing with OTTs in telecommunications services.
  • Draft new Recommendation on OTT and MNOs. It has been agreed to introduce a clause asking not to apply the regulation of Telecommunications in the Apps of the operators.
  • Technical Report on Future Regulation for Digital Transformation, which begins the search for new regulatory tools to work on the digital transformation in which we are immersed replacing the current already obsolete.
  • Telefónica is a strong advocate for applying the same rules for the same services in a way that does not compromise the principle of equality that should govern competing markets. Already in our first Digital Manifesto (2014) we asked for it and we have re-emphasised it in our current Manifesto for a Digital Pact (2018). Finally, it seems that this message is now beginning to be adopted by the relevant agencies.

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In addition, this Study Group 3, which focuses on the economic and political aspects of telecommunications, has also agreed on other relevant topics:

  • A recommendation on Mobile Financial Services has been adopted, proposing that the telecommunications services on which the service is based (SMS, USSD, etc.) should be cost oriented. Included in Recommendation D.263 Costs, Charges and Competition for Mobile Financial Services (MFS)
  • A new study is initiated to analyse the problems that may appear with the business models and tariffs that are applied to the connected car. Content in Research of Tariffs and Business Models of Connected Car Service


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