VIDEO INTERVIEW: European Commissioner Andrus Ansip warned that Europe could end up losing its most innovative start-ups to rival regions that are quicker to roll out next-generation technologies, including 5G.

Speaking to Mobile World Live during the GSMA’s Mobile 360 event in Brussels last month (before the UK’s exit decision from the EU), Ansip reiterated calls for the introduction of a digital single market, which would bring together member states of the European Union under a single framework, adding that this would be particularly beneficial to start-ups in the continent.

“Today, instead of having a huge single market with more than 500 million healthy customers, we have 28 relatively small markets and it’s very difficult for our start-ups to scale up in the EU,” he said. “We have to ask why? For example, Spotify was formed in Sweden but had to move to the US. The answer is quite clear. We have to deal with this fragmentation, to create a digital single market, to keep our start-ups here.”

He continued that if other parts of the world prove quicker in rolling out technologies, such as 5G, “they will reap the benefits”.

During the interview, Ansip also opened up on why it will be so important for European countries to cooperate more closely with spectrum and avoid the mistakes of the past, as well as recently launched proposals by the EC, such as the abolishment of roaming charges and the launch of 700MHz spectrum for future 5G services.

Click here to watch.