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Press Release -- April 15th, 2024
Source: enea

Upcoming EU Telecoms Legislation Set to Redefine “DNA” of Telecoms

New report published by Enea suggests granular network visibility and control will form a central part of operator strategies under expected Digital Networks Act

Stockholm, Sweden April 12, 2024 The European Commission’s wide-ranging consultation paper, “How to master Europe’s digital infrastructure needs” lays out the foundation for new EU legislation to address investment, infrastructure, cybersecurity and sustainability imperatives.  The paper highlights the need for a wider regulatory remit across telecom and  cloud and application providers in order to achieve transformational and efficiency gains; the paper cites “the integration of (these) different computing resources with various network capacities will require intelligent orchestration, that also allows optimization for security and sustainability considerations.”[1]

According to a 2024 outlook report published by Enea, operators should already anticipate deploying new technologies in traffic inspection, traffic management and policy control, as well as harness a range of access networks including Wi-Fi, to achieve the granular levels of observability and control over network data required to meet security and efficiency demands.

Ongoing geopolitical conflicts have clearly proven the active role for network operators to sustain critical infrastructure and societal functions as well as protect networks from being weaponized. This requires granular visibility and control of potential attack surfaces, for example being able to treat inbound roaming distinctly from local subscribers at the signaling level. Operators should also have the intelligence and agility to classify traffic to prioritize network resources in the best interests of national security and resilience, for example by giving video entertainment a lower priority than emergency services or basic voice and data at times of extreme network demand.

While the EU initiative takes a long term view to 2030,  Enea’s report, titled “Call to Arms: Uniting to Secure Our Connected Future: 5 Mobile Trends to Expect in 2024”,  brings the agenda into the here and now, exploring  topics such as threats to application-to-person (A2P) messaging, emerging AI-based voice fraud, and the increasing sophistication of deepfake technology, and devotes an entire chapter to the EU’s likely legislation and  how operators can prepare already today.

The proposed legislation, tentatively titled the “Digital Networks Act” DNA is described by the European Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton, as “redefining the DNA” of EU telecoms, to create the right market conditions for the sector to fully embrace cloud-based, software-defined models in pursuit of applications such as network virtualization, edge cloud, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and the formation of open networks.

As detailed in Enea’s report, the scope and scale of the likely Digital Networks Act will be a defining topic for the telecoms sector in 2024, and when viewed in conjunction with legislation and policy initiatives underway in several countries including the UK, Australia and South Africa, it is clear that policymakers are proactively acting to create a secure and sustainable industry, reflecting telecom’s critical role in modern society and national security.

To find out more, download the full report here

To see what last year’s report predicted correctly, see our blog post here

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