GSMA presses EU regulators to ease path to 5G

18 SEP 2018

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – EUROPE, BRUSSELS: Industry group GSMA argued the right regulatory action must be taken to position Europe as a global 5G leader and achieve a predicted contribution to the region’s GDP by the mobile industry of more than 4 per cent by 2022.

In the latest regional update of its Mobile Economy report, the GSMA warned more supportive policies must be put in place which positions Europe “as a preferred location for investment” if the region is to realise its full 5G potential.

Commenting in a statement, GSMA director general Mats Granryd said 5G networks in Europe are expected to provide coverage to almost three quarters of the region’s population by 2025 and Europe is set to become the world’s third-largest 5G market behind Asia-Pacific and North America at that point.

“However, success in the 5G era will rest on the ability of governments to implement forward-looking regulatory frameworks that encourage sustainable investment, drive innovation and protect consumers,” he added.

GDP growth
The GSMA noted mobile technologies and services generated 3.3 per cent of GDP in Europe in 2017, which amounted to €450 billion of economic value added. This number is expected to increase to €720 billion (representing 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2022), the Association said.

However, to achieve this, regulators must implement reforms which drive the digital evolution.

This includes encouraging a strong pro-investment environment to allow the mobile industry to make investments to benefit consumers, as well as support a same service same rules policy, which would lead to more competition, innovation and higher consumer welfare.

In addition, the body called for timely access to harmonised spectrum in the right frequencies “and under the right long term conditions for operators to invest in future networks and services”.

Finally, regulators must “enable European operators to harness the full potential of data to innovate and compete globally, while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of consumers,” the Association stated.

Such policies will help the continent with its 5G ambitions, said the GSMA, with the first 5G launches in the continent anticipated by the end of the decade.

“By 2025, it is forecasted that 5G will account for around 200 million connections, corresponding to a 29 per cent share of total 5G connections in Europe,” it added.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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