INTUG Discusses IoT and Digital Convergence at OECD in Paris

At the regular meeting of OECD’s Communications Working Party in Paris (30 Nov. - 1 Dec.), Nick White, INTUG Executive Vice President, contributed to the debate on two topics for the upcoming OECD 2016 Ministerial Meeting agenda- the Internet of Things and Digital Convergence.

On the Internet of Things, Nick said, “There are big opportunities for businesses arising from these developments. It is essential that users can achieve guaranteed connectivity and quality of service for mission critical applications. Access and coverage will be assisted by more sharing of mobile/wireless access and fixed infrastructure for next generation technologies, including for indoor and venue coverage, where constraints prevent all operators from establishing independent infrastructure. Operators must prepare for a massive increase in the number of devices and the volume of traffic (much of which may be small but latency critical messages). This may present challenges for some backhaul networks”.

Referring to the challenges associated with digital convergence, Nick warned against focusing too much on network neutrality principles to the detriment of securing guaranteed service quality. He said, “Regulators who do not have responsibility for both content and transport must be careful not to confuse regulation to avoid discrimination of content with the need to ensure open transport of data without discrimination against content. End-to-end connectivity is an essential prerequisite for international on-line business processes. Regulators must prepare for digital convergence, especially where regulation between content and transport is split, and should avoid maintaining a focus on technology specific regulation, rather than moving to service-based technology agnostic regulation”.

The meeting participants also reviewed progress on the elimination of international roaming charges, noting that the transposition of the recent EU decision into national law remained an important hurdle still to be cleared, with many potential loopholes to overcome.

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