Vodafone is to become a member of Cable Europe as the trade body repositions itself as an umbrella organisation for a broad section of the connectivity industry.
GIGAEurope was announced by Manuel Kohnstamm senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for Liberty Global, and Joakim Reiter, group external affairs director for Vodafone Group, at the opening day of Cable Congress in Berlin.
The conference, which has moved to the autumn from its previous place in the spring calendar, will now officially welcome members of the telecommunications it has previously fought against.
Kohnstamm said the industry needed an an association that will change the view of giga services. “The name and structure of Cable Europe will change to focus on fixed-mobile convergence and what the networks themselves are generating.
“It’s fitting that after 10 years of Cable Europe we’re changing that again. We’re changing as much as the Industry is changing.”
Vodafone has acted as a catalyst in purchasing the former Kabel Deutschland business and now running Ziggo with fellow Cable Europe member Liberty Global.
“Its vision is clear and we’re strongly behind it,” said Reiter, though he admitted there were some areas that needed to be ironed out before GIGAEurope’s official launch early in 2020.
The new association plans to lobby for a balance between investment and competition, though favouring private over public investment, with regulation carefully considered, rather than pre-emptive.
GIGAEurope will look to represent a wide section of the communications industry – not only connectivity providers or related organisations, but also organizations that are part of the growing wider digital ecosystem.