Dragos C.-L. PREDA was appointed a year ago as State Secretary for Telecommunications, with a portfolio of projects to enrich Romania’s IT&C infrastructure development and to better connect European countries, thus pragmatically extending EU digital sovereignty for the next decade.
Just a brief prospection into his progress labels him as a visionary hard-working professional. His work as a civil servant and chief of staff both on policy drafting and implementing as well as in representing his country in expert working groups (i.e. Human Resources, Good Governance) at the level of EU and UN institutions made him acquire the needed experience to fill in the responsibilities put forward by his current high ranked duties as Romanian Government top official for Telecomm sector.
Also, his experience as Project manager on several EU funded programs educated his skills to better organize and draft his reports as well as to seek for consulting and solutions out of the box.
But mostly, his experience as architect of civic and professional communities made him a team guy and a true, devoted leader, apt to develop and adapt to different environments and challenges, find opportunities he had never thought of before, and discover the needed energy even in the “impossible”. He always succeeded to put divergent stakeholders at the same table, to fundraise many ideas and transform them in reality, as well as to support scholarships for young students.
He has always been emancipated by a profound team spirit, which made him outline his competence and an inborn leadership, seeking continuous development and determine sustainable projects.
He took his experience forward and, even if his young age did not quite fit in, he has succeeded in establishing the most pro-active Rotary Club in Bucharest i.e. www.rotarycismigiu.ro, and received for this a Paul Harris Fellow award.
Other well-known NGOs as C.A.E.S.A.R. Foundation (Centre for Access to the Expertise of Romanian Students and Graduates) http://www.fundatiacaesar.ro/ or the Club for Romania XXI Association etc. marked his path.
His activity, both in the public system as well as in the civil society, has been awarded by recognitions as Forbes 30 under 30 1st edition, TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young People) 2018 etc. having received several scholarships, prizes and even decorated.
As an expert in several working groups on the review of the regulatory framework (National Defence Strategy, National Civ Cap Strategy, National Strategy for Sustainable Development, National Strategy for Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI), National Youth Strategy – in collaboration with UNICEF Romania, National Education Law, the draft law on internship etc.), he had the opportunity to listen to the challenges, understand the opportunities, and map the stakeholders in order to better adapt the legal framework.
Political scientist and futurist, an alumni of École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), manager and entrepreneur with extensive public and private sector experience, with expertise in public administration reform, international development etc. he has ventured in launching several tech start-ups.
His passion for developing networks of opportunities for those willing to take this path, offered him the right experience, positive outlook and professionalism needed in order to serve as a best suited visionary and pragmatic person to inhabit the Telecom office.
TODAY’S CYBER MARKET OPPORTUNITIES at the Eastern Borders with Ukraine, Poland, the Black Sea and the Russian Federation buffer:
The telecoms market size is expected to reach $3450 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 6% . The growth in the telecoms market is attributed to increasing development of smart cities and emerging market growth, and Dragos PREDA’s team, to include a long term future ongoing strategic and sustainable international government partnership with Dr Sorin Dobircianu, (sr. expert government, regional manager DEFENCE UNLIMITED for Eastern Europe: http://defenceunlimited.com/defence-unlimited-team/dr-sorin-dobircianu/) is a true joint and reliable promoter matrix of smart cities and communities for the following years.
However, the market for telecom is anticipated to face certain restraints from several factors such as security issues and stringent regulatory environment. One of the key restraints of the market include-National security – the telecoms industry involved in the provision of national networks across the world is increasingly targeted by hackers, exposing various security issues.
With adoption of advanced technologies and growing government initiatives, the scope and potential of the global telecoms market is expected to increase in the forecast period. The top opportunities in the global telecoms market will arise in the wired telecommunications carriers segment which will gain $338.8 billion of global annual sales by 2022.
Telecoms market-trend-based strategies include offering affordable and fast internet using Wi-Fi, 4G and 5G wireless communications technologies, and offering video-on-demand services along with fixed line services. Player-adopted strategies in the telecoms industry include increasing investments in wireless communication technologies and expanding the offerings into emerging countries.
Telecom is Europe’s major technology business, with a €136.9bn/year value added and training on the rise.
ROMANIA has low income per capital and therefore has some of the lowest mobile and wireline ARPUs in the region. Consumer price sensitivity therefore acts as a brake on premium service adoption and usage. The current situation notwithstanding, economic growth will strengthen over the next five years, improving consumer spending power. The telecoms sector will focus on the development of converged wireline/wireless infrastructure and developing the next generation of multi-service products that will be delivered over these new platforms. A relative lack of third-party over-the-top service providers gives the network-based players a head start, but they should look to work with network-agnostic services as they emerge, in order to mitigate revenue erosion in the longer term.
In Romania, the overall fixed broadband take-up stagnated the third year in a row at 66% compared to 78% in the EU. Meanwhile, the take-up of at least 30 Mbps broadband increased slightly from 55% to 56% (better than the EU average of 49%). More importantly, the take-up of at least 100 Mbps broadband grew from 45% to 49% in the last year, almost double of the EU average of 26%. This trend may be explained by the increase in the share of fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/B) technology of fixed broadband lines from 59% to 64%.
DE PRES recently completed negotiations on a proposal for a regulation establishing a European Cyber Security Center. In the informal videoconference of the Ministers of Telecommunications, which took place on 5 June this year, Commissioner Thierry Breton emphasized that the headquarters of this center must be located in a country that is cyber and connectivity secure, including the cyber security of 5G networks. RO’s efforts emphasized country’s advanced cybersecurity capabilities, Romania’s contribution to the European single market in terms of cybersecurity, high-speed communications infrastructure, and definitely respect for European principles and values; but also the fact that Romania is a reliable partner of NATO and an active actor in strengthening cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans, including in terms of cyber security.
Some of the projects to prospect upon are the development of a National Strategy on Digital Transformation and on Connectivity – with a clear full calendar of implementing their objectives, the pragmatic advance of the national critical infrastructures, the elaboration of National Strategy for Smart Cities and Communities, and connecting the municipality with central government, the 5G technology entry schedule, and the development of Digital Highway Fiber-Optic Cross-connect (DH-FOCC) – to make the most of the region’s experience and potential for implementing digital solutions (this goes beyond the development of digital infrastructure, and encompasses the creation of smart, modern solutions for data exchange and the more efficient use of information.
Fiber optic infrastructure along road transport infrastructure – The Smart Connectivity objective calls for high performance, next generation infrastructure designed to ensure smart, modern solutions, efficient use of information and ease of interconnection and data exchange. Building a homogenous fiber-optic network infrastructure across Romania from border-to-border addresses these main objectives and requirements: the high capacity, low latency fiber optic network will be able to support and new modern, smart, interconnected technology for the future; the border-to-bored approach will ensure straight forward connectivity with member states and other neighboring countries with possibilities to build convergent technology networks to span across Europe.
The development of 5G networks, ensuring their cyber security and compliance within an EU level coordinated approach, represents one of the European key priorities.
“Our country was selected ahead of cities like Brussels or Warsaw. Until now, Romania did not host any European agency. Thanks to the efforts of President Klaus Werner Iohannis, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Minister Lucian Bode – as Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications, TTE Council Romanian Government central entity, my colleague Alexandru Nazare, recently elected senator and appointed as Minister of Finance, and to all IT&C colleagues in the Government (CERT .RO / STS / CYBERINT etc.) Romania has firmly positioned itself on the map of Europe and the world.
The proposal for a regulation establishing the European Competence Center for Industrial, Technological and Research in Cyber Security and the Network of National Coordination Centers was the most important legislative proposal for Romania, in light of our country’s candidacy to host the competence center. The aim is to fuel the European technological and industrial cyber security ecosystem. The Center will have a comprehensive activity that will support cyber security throughout the value chain, from research to support, implementation and widespread adoption of key technologies. It will also provide assistance to Member States and other relevant actors through advice, sharing expertise and facilitating collaboration on projects and actions.
The location in Romania of the headquarters of this center is particularly important for the political and geo-strategic visibility of Romania, Poland, Ukraine etc, placing it in a position of regional and European leader in cybersecurity, but also a pole of technological expertise in security cybernetics at European and international level.
It will contribute to the promotion of Romania at European and international level as a strong digital country, with a competitive economy, with exceptional prospects for increased investments, in direct or related areas of cybersecurity, such as training and education in cybernetics, research, standardization, artificial intelligence, defense, innovation, cryptography, IT&C security services, intrusion detection or human and societal aspects of security and privacy, etc.
For Romania, it is particularly important to continue to involve and ensure national coordination on European work related to the development of 5G networks and the implementation of the EU Toolkit for 5G Network Security.
Following the line indicated by the Commission, Romania has already started to invest in strategic capabilities that allow the development and use of large-scale digital solutions, interoperability of key digital infrastructures, expansion of 5G networks (and future 6G networks) and innovative advanced technologies.
The effort must be supported at national, regional, local level, involving public administration, academia, civil society, financial institutions, business and social enterprises but also European partners, in cumulating investments in research and innovation, exchange of experience and good practices, etc.
Strengthening cybersecurity along with ensuring the integrity and resilience of data infrastructure, networks and communications should be horizontal priorities. These are considered to be key elements in achieving the von der Leyen Commission’s key objective, namely European technological sovereignty. Through the efforts of each Member State, Europe needs to develop and implement its own key capabilities, thus reducing its dependence on other parts of the globe for the most important technologies.
The development of 5G networks, while ensuring their cyber security and respecting the coordinated approach at EU level, is one of the key European priorities.
The correct implementation of the Cyber Security Act is particularly important in this process in view of the need for an adequate level of convergence as regards standardization and certification measures.
Equally, constant cooperation and dialogue with the other Member States and the Commission are becoming particularly important for two key reasons, namely to maintain a diverse and sustainable 5G supply chain in order to avoid long-term dependence and the need for effective coordination of standardization, in order to achieve the specific security objectives and development of relevant certification systems at EU level, in order to promote safer products and processes. The effort of each Member State to make full use of the toolkit is essential for a credible and successful European approach to 5G security.
Congrats, Romania!” (D.S.).