14 mar 2017
Business Meeting

Laurent Paillassot at the CEOE CEPYME Business Meetings

Orange’s CEO said that Spain is at the forefront in super broadband investment

Orange Spain's CEO, Laurent Paillassot, stated in his speech titled "The Second Wave of the Digital Transformation", delivered at the CEOE CEPYME Business Meetings, that our country is at the forefront in terms of investment in super broadband, it has the largest fibre network in Europe and is equipped with an unprecedented competitiveness to face the challenges and opportunities of the new digital society.

Laurent Paillassot at the CEOE
Laurent Paillassot at the CEOE — ©CEOE

Furthermore, Paillassot highlighted that we are currently exposed to three main technological disruptions, based on the ubiquity of the network -1) ambient connectivity; 2) the web of things; and 3) artificial intelligence - which will have a great impact both, in the daily lives of individuals and in society in general.

Paillassot also stressed that Spain is in a privileged position to profit from these technological advantages, as it is at the forefront of convergence, thanks to the combination of fixed and mobile communication services and other value-added ones as part of a single package, and that the market has been reconfigured much faster than others in Europe. Thus, Paillassot emphasized that there are now 3 alternatives for fibre networks that reach 10 million homes and 3 for 4G networks that serve more than 90% of the Spanish population.

Orange’s CEO also pointed out the challenges still to be resolved, such as the low development of the R & D ecosystem in Spain, which is still among the lowest of Europe's largest economies and the high and growing fiscal pressure on telecommunications operators. In particular, he emphasized that there are more than 10 specific fees on the telecommunications sector and that new local fees continue to emerge. In fact, Orange paid almost 4% of its revenues in Spain on these specific fees.

Finally, Orange’s CEO also insisted on the need for governments, companies an society in general, both at national and European levels, to work together to successfully overcome the sector's challenges and to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development. In this sense, he urged for less fragmentation, more harmonization and fewer laws, and for these to be the same for all the market participants.

Laurent Paillassot concluded his speech with a quote from Paul Valery: "The future is not what it used to be", underlining that he is convinced that the benefits derived from this future could be brought forward if we work together.

CEOE CEPYME Business Meetings aim to exchange ideas and experiences presented by business leaders from sectors that have faced the challenges posed by globalization, digitization and innovation.

Today’s meeting was the fifth. The previous four included the participation of Francisco González, president of BBVA; Antonio Llardén, president of Enagás; Fernando Abril Martorell, President of Indra, and José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President of Bankia.