Closing of the 27th Telecommunications and Information Society Meeting

20/05/2011

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Spain's Secretary of State for Telecommunications Juan Junquera provided closing remarks at IESE's 27th Telecommunications and Information Society Meeting, held in Madrid. Junquera said that the government is finding it increasingly difficult to comply with certain regulations, as well as collect taxes related with internet activities. The technology revolution and its global reach are having far-reaching effects on government. Junquera said he rejects self-regulation models for addressing current problems, stressing that basic rules are necessary so that the power of the Internet is not monopolized. He also called on the EU to take the lead in future debate on Internet regulation.

Social Impact of Networks

The first session centered on the revolution of social networks, and their impact on human behavior and the possibility companies have to monetize networks. IESE Prof. Sandra Sieber noted that the main value of a social network is the time that users remain a part of it, which is more than three times what they invest in other technological tools such as search engines and e-mail. She also said that companie's online marketing budgets are surprisingly unaligned with the amount of time people spend using social networks.

Tuenti's vice president of corporate development explained during his presentation how the company's strategy differs from Facebook's in that the user is able to narrow interactions down to those that matter most. In addition, the company's privacy model is more impervious, he said. From a PR perspective, the Tuenti model avoids intrusive advertising, avoiding barriers that may hinder the user experience. For this reason, advertising revenues are more limited.

Operators' Position

One of the questions posed in the final round table discussion focused on the capacity for operators to maintain their position in the value chain. Johan Andsjö, general manager of Yoigo, described the evolution of the telecommunications sector and pointed out several key trends, such as the possible cannibalization of voice services and e-mail through applications. Javier Jaquotot, director of business strategy and analysis for Vodafone, said that in order to avoid commoditization of the sector, operators must focus on a market-oriented approach and innovation.

Fermín Marquina, director of regulation and sector relations for Telefonica Spain, said that the only stable players in the technological ecosystem are those situated on the extreme ends of the spectrum: content creators and users. Ignacio de Orúe, director of brands, communication and customer experience at Orange, stressed that the future lies in the intersection of Internet use via mobile phones and the social networking revolution. Finally, Mónica Martínez, director of innovation and corporate relations at ONO, highlighted the important role that infrastructure will play in the future of the sector since, if networks are not able deliver required services, the reality of the Internet would cease to exist.