Europe will be required to ramp network investment to the tune of €300 billion up to 2025 to ensure the continent taps into the full economic potential of 5G, telecoms association ETNO concluded in a new report on the technology.
The study, entitled Connectivity and Beyond: How telcos can accelerate a digital future for all, was prepared for ETNO by consultancy BGC and estimated 5G could generate an annual increase of €113 billion in GDP and create 2.4 million new jobs over the next four years, contributing to a European Union goal to reignite the economy.
But, to capitalise on the opportunity, the continent was urged to inject an estimated €150 billion to achieve “a full 5G scenario in Europe”, with a further €150 billion required to finish upgrading infrastructure to gigabit speeds.
While the report doesn’t directly say the funds should come from operators alone, the sum will no doubt raise eyebrows at a time when the industry is grappling with the high costs required to upgrade to 5G and a current lack of substantial RoI.
The analysis included a look into the telecoms sector as a whole, finding the industry was accelerating transformation in seven main areas: network leadership; new collaboration models; next-generation B2B; data-driven customer approach; up-stack innovation; radical simplification; and new ways of working.
This was leading to innovation in new fields including cloud; data-based services; and open RAN, with collaboration within the industry and Europe’s industrial sector crucial for future development.
In addition, ETNO stated Europe’s political goals “must now permeate policy and regulatory action at both the European at national level”, with a series of urgent actions required including the need to increase attractiveness of investment and prioritising leadership in digital services.
ETNO director general Lise Fuhr called on “European leaders to support the telecoms sector and help us deliver a stronger digital economy for all citizens”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back