Industry association ETNO called for urgent action to address delays in deployment of advanced mobile technologies in Europe, releasing a study highlighting limited availability of standalone (SA) 5G and edge cloud compared to Asia.

The State of Digital Communications 2024 report, compiled with Analysys Mason, is the second assessment released this week illustrating what is claimed to be a need for increased investment in the region.     

It states ten out of 114 mobile networks in Europe were SA 5G at end-2023, a figure asserted to lag Asia. ETNO also highlighted leadership for Asia and North America in edge cloud offerings.

As has been referenced numerous times during Europe’s so-called fair share debate, ETNO noted “significant additional investment” was needed to reach a European Union (EU) goal of full 5G coverage, with the region said to be behind the likes of South Korea, the US, Japan and China.

By the end of 2023, ETNO noted 5G reached 80 per cent of the population of Europe, with the target in EU countries being complete coverage by the end of the decade.

ETNO director general Lise Fuhr said: “Users are expecting new networks and Europe’s competitiveness relies on innovative connectivity. This is why we must take urgent policy action to help strengthen the European telecom sector”.

“The status quo, both in terms of investment and of policy, will not deliver the levels of innovation that are so desperately needed.”