LIVE FROM QUALCOMM 5G SUMMIT 2019, BARCELONA: Qualcomm’s European chief hailed the region’s progress in deploying 5G, reckoning the continent to now be on-par with rollouts in the US due to regulators’ efforts around spectrum.

Enrico Salvatori, SVP and President of Qualcomm EMEA (pictured, left), told Mobile World Live (MWL) regulators had learned from the experience of allocating spectrum for 4G, resulting in them being more “reactive to 5G demand and spectrum allocation”.

“They’re doing what is expected by holding auctions quickly and keeping open channels.”

He highlighted launches by operators in Switzerland, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany as “great milestones” towards ensuring European operators jump on the back of revenue opportunities in 5G.

Qualcomm is currently working closely with operators in France to prepare them for commercial launches. Salvatori noted regulator ARCEP is expected to hold a spectrum auction by the year-end, “so we will see France up and running with 5G soon”.

ARCEP commenced the process of deciding the process for its spectrum auction in July, with a view to driving launches in 2020.

In addition to working with operators in the region, Salvatori said Qualcomm had done its bit to boost 5G by ensuring availability of compatible smartphones. “Typically infrastructure comes first and then smartphones, whereas with 5G handsets were ready at the same time or even before infrastructure. This was a great sign for things to come”.

Qualcomm paid for travel to this summit. This article reflects honest reporting on the event.