Europe lags behind South Korea, Japan and the US in 5G rollout • The Register

According to an industry survey, Europe is falling behind global leaders in 5G rollout as rising inflation and the war in Ukraine weigh on infrastructure ambitions.

A study by the GSMA, a mobile industry lobby group, predicts that 5G network coverage in Europe will increase to 70 percent in 2025, up from 47 percent in 2021. By comparison, almost a third of the population has no 5G coverage unfavorably South Korea and the US, where only 2 percent or less are expected to be without 5G coverage by the same date.

The 2022 Mobile Economy Report Europe shows that at the end of June 2022, consumer adoption of 5G – ie using a device with a 5g chip – has increased in Europe. Norway is leading the way in adoption with 16 percent using 5G, but positive momentum is also evident in Switzerland (14 percent), Finland (13 percent), the UK (11 percent) and Germany (10 percent). The average across the continent is 6 percent of the mobile subscriber base.

The survey of 108 operators in 34 markets across Europe found that 5G adoption across Europe will reach 44 percent by 2025, but South Korea is expected to reach 73 percent over the same period, while Japan and the US are likely to reach 68 percent acceptance.

The GSMA estimated that mobile technologies and services contributed 757 billion euros ($748 billion) to Europe’s GDP in 2021.

Daniel Pataki, Vice-President for Policy and Regulation at the GSMA, said: “Europe is rolling out 5G faster than ever, but keeping pace with other world markets requires a greater focus on creating the right market conditions for infrastructure investment. This should also include the implementation of the principle of fair sharing of network costs.”

The report states that operators are facing rising energy prices, caused in part by the conflict in Ukraine, affecting the power supply for new equipment. ‘Energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy have therefore risen on the agenda in attempts to achieve sustainable grid operations,’ the report says.

Last month, the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association reiterated its demands that Big Tech pay a percentage of net infrastructure costs. Bosses of 16 telecom operators complained that they were being asked to do all the hard work and called the situation unfair.

The GSMA noted that in 2021 the European Commission presented its economic plans for IT-enabled development within the framework of the Digital Decade. It promised tangible benefits for EU economies through the development of digital skills, the digital transformation of businesses, sustainable digital infrastructure and the digitization of public services.

Accelerating plans for 5G in Europe is “crucial for policymakers to create the right conditions for private infrastructure investment, network modernization and digital innovation,” argued the GSMA. ® Europe lags behind South Korea, Japan and the US in 5G rollout • The Register

Rick Schindler

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