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Bloomberg and “the next big thing”: connected infrastructure

Over 200 business leaders from different sectors gathered at this televised event to hear national and international speakers from politics, academia and business debate and discuss topics of global importance.

Wolf Theiss was delighted to support the event with Partner Richard Clegg, who spoke about trends in connected infrastructure and energy, and specifically the growing importance and role of spectrum, the connectivity of connected.

Wolf Theiss advises a wide range of companies developing the future of connected infrastructure in Europe, including government partnerships for software infrastructure, connectivity, transport and mobility providers, automotive manufacturers and financing parties. Taking the example of connected and autonomous vehicles, in particular, such solutions will require continuous connectivity across the entire geography of a country, increasing the demand for spectrum.

Richard discussed the current national nature of spectrum licensing, the challenges of interoperability, and investment and infrastructure hurdles for 5G network roll-out. In the next set of spectrum auctions it is anticipated that non-telecom operators may push to bid for spectrum, including small cell manufacturers, data providers and even spectrum aggregators providing mobility solutions. This will push policy makers to reconsider efficient use of spectrum, as well as managing auction or allocation prices. Regulators will need to address  whether spectrum needs to be equally distributed, whether blocks will be contiguous and how current holders of spectrum are ensuring efficiency across bands. All these challenges will need to be addressed in the proposed EU Electronic Communications Directive and should lead to new partnerships and joint ventures between operators and other providers of connected infrastructure services.

The event brought influencers, managers, entrepreneurs and media together to discuss and debate global trends, problems and challenges. We are pleased that Bloomberg intends to develop the "Next Big Thing" conference into an important regional platform going forward.

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