You are here

Public positioning and transparency

The time has come to accept a global, hyper-connected and intelligent world, where the boundaries between the real and the digital economy are becoming ever more increasingly blurred. At Telefónica we are working to build a digital society for all.

We are immersed in a global, hyper-connected and intelligent world, in which geographical borders are becoming blurred, affecting our way of working, our leisure time, even the way we relate to other people, and soon will affect the way we relate to objects, through the Internet of Things (IoT). At Telefónica we are on the one hand becoming a Digital Telco, leading this industrial change of which we are a part and, on the other, actively contributing towards the sustainable, safe construction of this new digital society with the aim of offering all the possibilities of technology to our customers and users. 

A new digital environment

These days there is no longer a distinction between the digital economy and the real economy; the entire economy is digital. This process of the digitisation of the economy will have a huge impact on GDP growth, and also employment. No country can allow itself the luxury of missing the train that is this revolution, because it would mean lagging behind economically, in addition to falling behind in the battle for innovation. According to several international studies, an increase of 10 points in the digitisation of the economy leads to an increase of 0.76% in the per capita GDP (1). No one can ignore this tremendous opportunity; we have to seize it.

In this new environment, telecommunications play an absolutely essential role in the digitisation of the economy, as without connectivity, the services offered and the technological innovation generated, such digitisation would be impossible.

Advances in connectivity in the global environment will soon reach an outstanding milestone; the number of mobile connections will exceed for the first time the number of people. However, the penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband, the main driving forces behind future growth, have a long road ahead. In fact, the Internet of Things has enormous potential. In the year 2000, there were 200 million "connected things"; this figure has increased to 10,000 million today. However it is estimated that 99% of physical objects are not yet connected, and it is expected that by 2020 there will be over 50,000 million "connected things".

This explosion in connectivity and the unstoppable development of new digital services implies inexorable disruptive changes to the productive model with the development of Big Data, Cloud Computing, or even 3D printers, which make re-invention and transformation possible in multiple sectors, in addition to the appearance of new innovative business models. Financial, insurance, health, education, advertising and content services, as well as those of public administrations, are some of the sectors that are increasing their efficiency and effectiveness, opening new business opportunities in this new digital world. At Telefónica, we want to offer all the possibilities of technology to our customers in an open, safe way.

Concepts such as the Industrial Internet, which combines the global industrial system with the power of advanced computing, low cost sensors and new levels of connectivity which broadband and the Internet make possible are also opening the way towards a new industrial model.

The developing technologies, the reduction of technological cycles and the speed of the changes that all this is creating is telling us that we must be prepared for transformations which are even deeper and more radical. The Digital Revolution has just begun. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of what awaits us in the not too distant future.

(1). 'Using a Digitization Index to measure the Economic and Social Impact of Digital Agendas' (page 23). R. Katz. Columbia Institute of Teleinformation. 21 March 2013.

The Telefónica Digital Manifesto

At Telefónica, as a Digital Telco, we are prepared to lead and drive this process of digital transformation, ensuring a safe, friendly environment for our customers. Technology places in our grasp unimaginable possibilities, and could improve our lives in a thousand ways. For that reason we want to be players in this new ecosystem, and put at the disposal of our customers the best that technology can offer so that everyone can enjoy this fascinating world. And it is for that reason that we believe that the experience in this new digital world for all citizens, and in particular for our customers, must be better. It must be safer and more open.

In 2013 we published, in various languages, our Digital Manifesto, to defend an open and safe experience for all on the Internet (see the Annual Report 2013).

In this Digital Manifesto we highlight the challenges facing us now and in the near future, and propose ten essential recommendations for public policy, which, if followed, would ensure the success of this combined transformation in telecommunications and our society, guaranteeing an open, safe Internet experience for all users.

Accordingly, Telefónica has presented the essence and recommendations of the Digital Manifesto at diverse key international forums, on global, regional and national scales, wherever it has a presence. It has also held specific meetings with national delegations and administrations, with the aim of sharing the Company's vision regarding the new digital environment and the actions which must be taken to ensure the best future for society as a whole. Telefónica wants to provide the best of the digital world to its customers in a a way that is open and safe for them.

In order to spread this information, various initiatives have been carried out in the area of communication. In March 2014 a website dedicated to the Digital Manifesto was launched, on which the most relevant Company initiatives in answer to the challenges identified in building an open, safe digital society, are highlighted through the presentation of practical cases and supporting videos. Similarly, a specific video has been made, containing the main messages from the Manifesto in various languages.

The public positioning of the Company is transmitted through the Public Policy blog, in which members of the Company actively contribute to the public policy debates related to the new digital environment (blog supported by social network channels) and, in particular, through the Twitter account @tefpublicpolicy.

The construction of the new digital environment is moving ahead rapidly, but today there are still numerous challenges and actions required in order to design a successful digital future for society. These challenges can be grouped into three areas: access to the digital environment, digital expansion and digital trust. Telefónica will continue to work on these concepts in the coming months, with the aim of contributing towards and ensuring the best experience for its customers in the new digital environment.

Today, the privacy and security of our customers continue to be the fundamental points in our public positioning. Telefónica has listened to its customers, and, in response to their requests, continues to defend an open experience on the Internet, where the portability of the digital life of citizens, the capacity to be able to move data, applications and content between platforms, in order not to limit the digital experience of citizens, together with the capacity to ensure the possibility of customer choice, have become the main thrust of our defence to ensure a better Internet experience.

In terms of public policies, these challenges translate into the need to adapt the rules to the new digital environment, with the aim of constructing the digital ecosystem adequately and in a sustainable and open way, respecting innovation, the rapid evolution of the sector, and the transnational and global nature of new businesses in the digital environment.

In the same way, Telefónica defends the position that for the balanced development of this digital revolution, balance is needed along the entire Internet value chain, as well as a level playing field for all those agents taking part. The current inequalities in the application of sectoral standards, whether for privacy, security or consumer protection, are working against the experience of the user and the development of innovation, as well as against investment. The concept of "same service - same rules" must be extended and applied throughout the entire value chain. Telefónica champions digital neutrality, a level playing field for all companies participating in the digital ecosystem, which will also guarantee a better Internet experience for all citizens by opening up the possibilities of technology to the whole world. Furthermore, the portability of digital life between platforms and the interoperability of networks and ecosystems will be guaranteed.

Telefónica is working and will continue to work along these lines to provide maximum satisfaction for its customers and offer them the best digital experience in a new environment full of possibilities, thanks to technology.