5G set to give a timely boost to European mobile business

We’re all set to get even faster network connectivity, and a third of Europeans will be turning to 5G by 2025, according to some new research.

This comes from industry body the GSMA, which found that Europe will be the second largest region in the world for 5G connections, clocking up 214 million connections by the middle of the next decade.

According to the report, the new technology will provide a boost for European operators. The region is the most heavily subscribed in the world, with a market penetration of 84% when it comes to mobile subscribers.

The large number of existing users means that there’s little room for new customers, so much of the providers’ efforts will focus on switching to new technologies.

Europe is beginning to see serious take-up of 4G; this year, it’s expected that connections using the high-speed technology will overtake 3G for the first time. The interest in 4G has provided a boost to mobile revenues after some years of flat – and even negative – growth.  

Operators in Europe should be offered more assistance claimed Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. He said that policymakers had been slow to react to the fast-moving nature of mobile telephony and the regulatory environment was hindering rapid growth.

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Granryd commented: “Europe has an opportunity to re-establish itself as a global technology leader as we move toward the 5G era, but this can only happen if policymakers move quickly and boldly to make the necessary regulatory reforms to boost the region’s competitiveness on the global stage and bring innovative services to Europe’s citizens.”

“Europe needs a holistic policy and regulatory framework that reinforces its position as a preferred location for investment and innovation,” added Granryd. “We are calling for fresh dialogue between government and industry to assess how the Digital Single Market has performed to date, what needs to change and where regulation can promote the long-term development of Europe’s digital vision.”

In particular, Granryd observed, there needs to be a shake-up of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market, especially with regards to new proposals such as the European Electronic Communications Code and ePrivacy Regulation.

We’re just a few years away from the arrival of 5G. The first commercial offerings are expected in 2020, although last month, Telia, Ericsson and Intel teamed up to demonstrate a live 5G connection between the city of Tallinn (capital of Estonia) and a cruise ship. Telia claimed it will be offering some 5G connectivity by 2018.